More than four out of ten teachers report sleeping six hours or less per night, according to researchers at Ball State University. Nearly half admit to missing work or making mistakes due to “serious lack of sleep,” according to the report in Teacher Magazine.
While the study doesn’t correlate teachers’ reported sleep problems with instructional quality or student performance, the researchers speculated that the potential effects on schools could be significant, based on what is known about job performance and lack of sleep. ‘Sleepy teachers are at higher risk of providing insufficient supervision and inferior classroom instruction,’ notes Denise Amschler, a professor of physiology and health sciences and co-author of the study.
It’s not discussed in the report, but I’ve often wondered if sleep deprivation is a factor in poor teacher retention rates, particularly in low-achieving schools. The relentless push for high achievement often feels physically unsustainable. It is very easy to find yourself going weeks on very few hours of sleep per night.