Teachers aren’t getting enough sleep, concludes a recent study. Researchers at Ball State University found that 43% of all teachers reported getting six hours of sleep or less per night, compared to one-third of adults in all professions. Job-related tasks contributed to keeping teachers up late, said Denise Amschler, one of the study’s authors:
[T]eachers’ sleep problems likely derive from the unique stresses of the job, including non-fixed hours, continuous grading and planning responsibilities, and concerns about students.
The study also notes that nearly 45 percent of the respondents said they also work part-time jobs in addition to teaching.
Amschler said that teachers with sleep issues tend to fall into two categories: 1) those who are overcommitted with work and family obligations and don’t get to bed until after midnight; and 2) those who go to bed at a reasonable time but can’t fall asleep because of worry or stress about school.
The study didn’t look into how tired teachers perform on the job, but Amschler worries that lack of sleep might endanger supervision and degrade the quality of instruction.
She recommends that schools include adequate sleep in their wellness policies, but what about providing more time in the school day for planning and grading, and salaries high enough to allow teachers to hold just one job?
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