Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 34 - The Importance of Sleep for Stress Management

November 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 34
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 34 - The Importance of Sleep for Stress Management
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Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 34 - The Importance of Sleep for Stress Management
Nov 14, 2019 Season 1 Episode 34
Kitty Boitnott

Too many people believe that they can delay or defer sleep and still feel good and be productive. The truth is that they can't. At least not for very long. And as we get older, we become less and less able to get by on less than the amount of sleep our bodies require.

Sleep is necessary for our ability to manage our day-to-day stress. So, it's important to pay attention to how much sleep you need and how to make sure that you get the sleep your body needs to be healthy.

Listen to this episode of "Teachers in Transition" for tips on how to get the sleep you need. In addition to being a Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach, Dr. Kitty Boitnott is also a Sleep Science Coach. (She is also a Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach who specializes in working with burnt-out teachers who are ready for a new career.


Show Notes Transcript

Too many people believe that they can delay or defer sleep and still feel good and be productive. The truth is that they can't. At least not for very long. And as we get older, we become less and less able to get by on less than the amount of sleep our bodies require.

Sleep is necessary for our ability to manage our day-to-day stress. So, it's important to pay attention to how much sleep you need and how to make sure that you get the sleep your body needs to be healthy.

Listen to this episode of "Teachers in Transition" for tips on how to get the sleep you need. In addition to being a Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach, Dr. Kitty Boitnott is also a Sleep Science Coach. (She is also a Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach who specializes in working with burnt-out teachers who are ready for a new career.


Speaker 1:
0:01
Are you a teacher who's feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you worry that you're feeling symptoms of burnout or are you sure you've already gotten there? Have you started to dream of doing some other kind of job or perhaps pursuing a whole different career, but you don't know what else you're even qualified to do? You don't know how to start a job search. You just feel stuck. If that sounds like you, I promise you're not alone. My name is kitty Boitnott. I'm a career transition and job search coach and I specialize in helping burnout teachers dislike disliking deal, not only with the stress and overwhelm with your day to day job, but to consider what other careers might be out there waiting for you. Join me for teachers in transition. In some episodes I'll be speaking to stress management techniques and how you can manage your stress on a day to day basis. In other episodes, I'll be talking about career transition. What tools do you need to be successful in a job search when you're moving from one career into a totally different track? These are questions that you need answers to and I can help you find those answers. My name is kitty Beutner. Welcome to teachers in transition.
Speaker 2:
1:27
Welcome back to another episode of teachers in transition. My name is kitty Boitnott and this week we're going to be talking about a stress management strategy. If you listen to teachers in transition, you know that I try to alternate topics when we're talking about stress and stress management strategies. The next week talking about career transition and things that you can do to help yourself if you're ready for a job change or career change. Today we're talking about stress and specifically I'd like to speak to the importance of getting enough restful sleep for you to be able to manage yourself throughout the day no matter what may come your way. We're learning more and more all the time about the importance and necessity of sleep in our daily cycle. A, for a long time we've been under the false impression. I think that we can delay into first sleep or catch up on the weekend.
Speaker 2:
2:29
Oh, I could sleep late or I've got to get all this stuff done now. And when we're young and far more physically and perhaps even mentally resilient, we might be able to pull off the occasional, um, all nighter. I know I did in college on occasion, I would stay up all night to study for an exam and I might do well if the exam was early in the morning. But if it had been later in the day, I doubt that I would've been able to stay awake. Your body demands rest. It requires rest. And we are naturally on our circadian rhythm, which means that when the light comes up, when we see the sun, our brain wakes up and we, we wake up for the day and we're awake throughout the daylight hours. And then when it gets dark, our brain begins to slow down and the signal to our body is, it's time to go to sleep.
Speaker 2:
3:35
Back in the day before electricity, we didn't have to worry too much about it. You, you might have a candle if you were lucky, uh, that would help you to stay awake beyond the dusk when the sun went down. But electricity sort of changed the whole game. And now we can choose to be up all the time if we want to. And there are people who have to work overnight shifts and you know, electricity certainly helps them to get their jobs done. But unless they work an overnight shift all the time, you know, alternating shifts can really mess up your, your body, your brain, your mood, everything. So how do you get the most out of a good night's sleep and what, what are the requirements? What does it even mean to get a good night's sleep? For some people, they're so sleep deprived, they don't even know what that means anymore.
Speaker 2:
4:37
It's lost all meaning. So let's talk a little bit about what a good nights with entails. If you are getting the kind of sleep that you need, what happens is as you drift off to sleep, your brain goes into overdrive. So your brain never sleeps. Your brain simply takes over while you are in a sleep state and does the work that it needs to do to maintain your good mental, emotional, and physical health. It helps to clear out the toxins that accumulate in your brain every day, the toxins that are created by the waste of the cells in your brain, waste material that needs to be flushed out regularly, every 24 hour cycle, and if the brain doesn't get the kind of rest that it needs in order for it to go into this, this routine, this cleaning routine, then those toxins can build up and there's even research that's indicating there may be a connection between that and early onset Alzheimer's or dementia.
Speaker 2:
5:56
So do I have your attention? Do you need to start getting enough sleep? You bet you do. The brain will clean out all of that toxic waste material and flush it out through the brainstem, you know, through your blood and then of course you eliminate it the next day. It's all part of the magical system that our bodies are in. Our brain is in charge of. The other thing that your brain does during the night is it regulates the rim sleep that you get and there are two hour cycles where you go into a deeper sleep and during that time your brain manages all of the events of the day. It sorts out the memories, the emotions, the things that have occurred that have impacted you on a physical, mental and emotional level. It helps to make sense of all of that in your dreams may not make any sense, but your brain is making sense of it and storing memory where it needs to be stored and managing emotions about the events of the day and if you're, again, if your brain doesn't have an opportunity to go through those regular cycles a couple of times a night, the broken cycle can create problems for you the next day or for the next few days.
Speaker 2:
7:26
For example, you may be more irritable, cranky, I'm upset more easily than you would be because you did not get the kind of restful sleep that you needed and do not mistake quantity of sleep with quality. It's possible that you can maybe take a supplement or even even a prescription that will force you to sleep through the night, but it may not be as restful asleep as a natural sleep would be. So be mindful of that and be aware too that there are certain problems with certain types of prescriptions that people have different reactions to the men and they can cause sleep, walking and talking and repercussions the next day they're there. You need to be careful when it comes to taking, um, prescriptions for sleep. If you can manage to sleep on your own in a natural rhythm. The problem is that we often get out of rhythm and you know, there are times in our lives when getting the kind of sleep that we need is just impossible and thinking of families that have just added a newborn.
Speaker 2:
8:42
For example, even adding a puppy a few months ago, I added a puppy to my little family and you're getting up in the middle of the night to take her out. If she whined or whimpered to let me know that she needed to go out, I was not getting all of the sleep that I needed during that short period of time. Thankfully didn't last very long. If you've got a newborn, it may last a few months. So what you have to do as a new parent is grab the sleep that you can as you can. Whenever the baby's sleeping, you try to get some sleep and know that eventually everything will fall into a cycle. But if you have small children who don't want to go to bed at a certain hour, you need to make sure that you set up a specific ritual so that it going to bed at night isn't a struggle for you or your children.
Speaker 2:
9:39
And having a set that time along with a set sleep ritual is something that I highly recommend. So what do I mean by ritual? The first thing to do, and this is really important, I think especially if you have young children at home, is to have a rule about what time all electronics are turned off. That means the phone goes into sleep mode. I iPads, I've, I cut computers, TV, the TV, even everything needs to be turned off. Part of the reason for that is the, the lights that are behind the screen of your devices trick your brain into thinking it's still daylight. And if your brain is thinking it's still daylight, it's not going to start slowing down and signaling to your body that it's time to go to bed. So I highly recommend turning off all of the electronics at a certain hour. And if the younger your children are the earlier, the better because your children, young children especially need more hours of sleep than you do.
Speaker 2:
10:50
And there are tables that you can Google to find out what, what number of hours does a young child need and how do those hours change as a child grows up, teenagers need even more sleep than you might think. And even though they want to stay up late, they need more sleep because their bodies are changing so rapidly along with their brains. Frankly, their hormones have gone into overdrive. They need, they need their rest, so set a time for the entire family to shut down all electronic items and if if necessary, set aside some time. Do we dim the lights a little bit? If your children are young, read to them. That'll signal that it's bedtime, it's time to get ready to go to sleep and it'll help you to relax as well. If your children are older, just set a time when everybody's going to read a magazine article or something, not on their iPad, not on their tablet, not on the computer.
Speaker 2:
11:57
Read a book, a real book, and it will help to signal to the brain. It's time to get ready for bed. The other part of the ritual can be, you know, brushing your teeth, putting on your PJ's, just signaling to your body in your brain that it's time now to get into a relaxed mode and to go to sleep. It will help you to go to sleep faster. It will help you to get into that rhythm or quickly and overall you will wind up after a few nights of this, you'll start feeling more refreshed, more productive, uh, in a happier mood than you would if you went well into the wee hours of the morning trying to get work done, trying to get something accomplished and then trying to get by on four or five hours of sleep. On average, the average adult needs somewhere between six and a half and eight hours of sleep and that's obviously an average, which means some adults can get by on fewer than six and a half hours and some need more than eight hours.
Speaker 2:
13:12
If you've gotten in touch with your own body and your own rhythm, you should have a sense of how much sleep you need, how much you need individually, and it may be different from your spouse, which is a whole other issue. You have to work out sleep issues if you sleep with someone. But I cannot stress enough the importance of your paying attention to the kind of sleep you're getting, both the quality and the quantity and setting up a routine and a ritual around bedtime to make it easier for everyone in the family to go to bed at an hour that will provide for them to get the number of hours that they need to be happy and productive the next day. And so what that means is to set your bedtime, you determine what time everybody needs to be up in the morning. And then you work backward to the time in the evening, the night before that that would mean you need to go to bed.
Speaker 2:
14:19
So for example, if you have to get up at five o'clock in the morning, you need to work your way back at for you to six and a half to eight hours, depending on how much sleep you need. And if you're so out of your cycle and you're so unfamiliar with how much sleep you actually need in order to feel good the next time you're on vacation, go to bed when you're tired and wake up when you feel refreshed and after a couple of nights you'll get a sense how many hours of sleep you need. That's the best way I know to to estimate that. It's hard to do if you're already on a tight schedule, but when you're on a vacation trying to figure out what your rhythm is is, um, as a good alternative. So that's it for today. I hope if you have any questions, you'll email me@kittyboitnottatgmail.com. Be sure to pay attention to this aspect of your life. I cannot stress it enough that if you want, if you're serious about managing your stress in a, in a proactive and effective manner, in addition to so many of the other things that I recommend, I cannot recommend getting the sleep you need. Strongly enough. Email me, offer comments. Let me know if you have any questions. That's it today, have a great week. This is kitty Boitnott at teachers in transition.
Speaker 1:
15:49
So there you have it, an episode of teachers in transition. I hope you enjoy the information and I hope you'll plan to come back. Please subscribe to teachers in transition so that you can be alerted of future episodes. And let me know if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to specifically cover in a future episode. I'm more than happy to help with individual questions as well. So email me@kittyboitnottatboitnottcoaching.com if you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. I'm kitty Boitnott and this is teachers in transition.
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