Sleep Deprivation

When I started out as a counsellor I was surprised by how often sleep came up as a problem for the clients I was seeing. Across many different situations and issues, sleep was the most common factor - as symptom or as cause. 

Lack of sleep is distressing in itself, but partnered with stress it can quickly become a vicious cycle. Sleep deprivation narrows the emotional window we're able to operate within, leading us to feel more overwhelmed more often, which then keeps us up worrying longer. In addition, sleep deprivation reduces our functioning IQ and our empathy for others, so we're more likely to make the kind of mistakes that will haunt us when we next try to sleep.

No surprise, then, to find that teachers (being in one of the three most stressful professions) only get on average 6 hours sleep a night. It's not enough, and it has often drastic impacts on the quality of teaching and learning in schools.

This article in the TES suggests some solutions to sleep issues. I've also found this pdf has some helpful advice about how to prevent sleep issues developing.

There is, though, a deeper question here: we can address the symptoms of sleeplessness but what about the cause - why is it that stress is so unmanageable that we're struggling to sleep? Where are the opportunities for us to share our fears, worries and anxieties before they become problematic? And why are we feeling them so intensely in the first place?