Tips for surviving the school day on no sleep?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Backroads, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Yeah, it looks like insomnia is getting the better of me tonight. All the online lists talk about "picking essential projects" and "closing my office doors to take a short nap".

    What's good for teachers?
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Coffee. And keep moving about. Once you sit down the tiredness will hit you like a ton of bricks.
     
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  4. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Any idea what is causing the insomnia?
     
  5. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Exactly what I was gonna say.

    Coffee and stay on your feet.
    And hopefully you’ll get more sleep tonight! Teaching on no sleep is a struggle.
     
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  6. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    If you can take the day off, that might be better. Part of your brain might doze off even though the rest of the brain is still awake. I saw that on a news show concerning falling asleep while driving. The driver might think s/he is awake but actually partially sleeping.

    Insomnia help:
    TV or screen devices sometimes awaken the brain more than induce sleep. Also, TV tends to keep you watching an entire 1/2 to 1 hour or more.
    Meditation, deep breathing (I don't hold my breath after I inhale), relaxing individual muscles (some do best one muscle area at a time; for me and many others, that makes me more tense, so I just relax all my muscles and then search for noncompliant muscle areas); concentrating on one idea, (and if a troubling thought appears, I find it best to acknowledge its presence, but not focus on it; I even set that troubling thought outside of me until a more appropriate time to deal with it constructively, then continue focusing on my more productive thought). Stretching exercises or light yoga prior to bedtime can help. Keeping up with at least 30 minutes of cardio-vascular exercise such as walking is helpful, (but not right before bedtime). On these cold days, I might walk around the mall. A cheerful conversation during the day unconsciously works wonders for the rest of the day and night, both mentally and physically.
     
  7. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2018

    One night of insomnia doesn't get to me too much but if it continues I can definitely feel it. Especially after lunch. I just try to stay busy with the kids and I manage to pull through... I also drink coffee or green tea!
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I suffer from insomnia every now and then. I don't feel it until I sit down at my desk and start doing paperwork. Once I'm not moving around, I start yawning, my eyelids get heavy, and I can't concentrate. Not good.

    When I'm busy doing cafeteria/yard supervision is when I don't feel it whatsoever. As long as up and around, I'm good.
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I have struggled with insomnia off and on. The adrenaline usually kicks in and I can cope until I get home and collapse. Don't just drink coffee -- you need more water than anything. Also don't skip lunch -- I tend to be able to get by on no sleep, or no food, but not both in one day. Hang in there :(
     
  10. MarySK

    MarySK Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2018

    Maybe taking sleeping pills or at least tea with mint before bedtime
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    My brain usually wants me to wake up after only 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, my body doesn't always agree!
    After one of those nights, I just try to keep as busy as possible at school. I don't drink caffeinated beverages, but herbal tea sometimes help.
     
  12. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    What works best depends upon what is causing the insomnia. Any idea? If not, what are you thinking about as you struggle to sleep? Have you had any changes in your diet, or vitamin supplements?

    I wouldn't recommend anything without knowing what is going on.
     
  13. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  14. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Or approximately 3 cents per ounce of home brewed coffee... about a quarter a cup if you make it at home. Caffeine tablet is still cheaper, but the coffee just tastes so good. ;)
     
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  15. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Touché. I got lucky last year I guess - my breaks were evenly split throughout the day, and there was always at least one time during instructional periods throughout the day where one of my team members could keep an eye on my class in case of an emergency.
    And now I'm doing intervention so I have a little more flexible time.

    Though I also have my coffee early enough that if I have to use the bathroom at school, it's because of the 1/2 gallon of water I try to drink every day... not my morning coffee!
     
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Try the following at home before bed: Take a warm shower and drink a warm beverage like hot chocloate. This helps to relax your muscles and settle your stomach. Then, play some melodious music and use a heating blanket at a lukewarm setting.

    These tricks work like a charm for me! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I've dealt with the insomnia my whole life. It's never been too serious, but it acts up now and again. I am rather stressed with my class this year, so that's probably the trigger lately. I don't drink coffee, but I did get another caffeinated beverage and that did seem to help along with the shower.
     
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  19. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    As you mention work-related stress, are you waking in the middle of the night, in something of a panic, unable to stop thinking about work? Is this how your insomnia manifests?
     
  20. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Ugh, this is my insomnia! That, or I sleep through the night but my dreams are full of students and missing plans and "Miss M! Miss M! Miss M!" Having children yelling your name even in your sleep makes it much harder to feel rested in the morning.
     
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sometimes. Other times it's just... being awake forever.

    And I hate it. I am not a night owl. I am a cheerful morning lark.
     
  22. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    My issue is I have trouble falling asleep so I usually only sleep from like 2 am until like 5:30 am when I wake up. The problem is that then when I get home at around 4 pm, I am sometimes so exhausted that I sleep from like 4 pm-6 pm, which makes it then harder for me to fall asleep at night. In order to avoid that, I need to keep myself extremely busy from like 4 pm until 10 pm or so so that I am tired enough to fall asleep at normal times.

    It's kind of counter-intuitive too in that when I go to school feeling tired, I tell myself "I should do something low-key in class that the kids can do pretty independently without much help from me". The weird thing though is that the less I do during the school day, the more tired I get so I need to do things with my class that keep me on my toes all period so I don't fall asleep.
     
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  23. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I struggle with frequent insomnia. I've always been a poor sleeper, even as a young child.

    Like many others have said, I find that I'm okay at school because I'm so busy. What typically happens is I'll get to my lunch time, sit down, and then I suddenly feel exhausted. In those cases, eating quickly and getting back to work (rather than hanging around chatting with other teachers) helps me feel less tired.

    I'm also very fortunate to have a decent amount of bathroom breaks in my current schedule, so I can also have a couple of cups of coffee.
     
  24. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2018

    Could be cortisol spikes. Google "cortisol DHEA" when you get a chance.

    Any chance you are taking fish oil? Some of those may cause insomnia—just not the panicked, can't-stop-thinking-about-work type. More the "Why in the hell am I awake!?!" type. Sounds crazy, but not so much when it happens to you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My husband and I attended a playoff football game the night before the first day back from break. So I was going in on maybe 3 hours of sleep and having spent over 10 hours in a car that day. First hour, the students t who sits right in front of desk looked at me, shook his head, and said, "you need to drink more coffee."

    When I know I'm going to be tired, I try to plan in a break during one of my five preps, so that for at least an hour or two students are doing something productive, but independent.

    I also make sure to stay hydrated, and keep healthy snacks to much on during the day.
     

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