In our last article, we dwelt on the value of teachers and the impact of how sleep affects the lessons they teach. We also emphasized how the teacher is the mother of all professions – “making all professions including teachers”
The teacher teaches literacy and numeracy in the classrooms, crafts and vocations in workshops, skills for personal and community activities, and lifestyle habits like sleeping, healthy eating, etc. Teaching involves the transfer of information to impart knowledge or instruct someone as to how to do something. The teacher needs the capacity for learning and memory to have pieces of information acquired, processed and stored as memory and to recall stored information from the memory during transfer to someone being taught. The process of sorting one’s various memories, filtering out important memories and eliminating other irrelevant information occurs during memory consolidation.
This is found to be sleep-dependent, which means that sleep affects the sorting of memory which guides recall, where the brain accesses and utilises stored information, often by bringing memories to mind. Poor sleep affects the brain’s ability to retain factual information and procedural memories, which inhibits the learning of both academic subjects and non-academic skills. I made a clarion call for teachers’ adoption of good sleep habits and for the promotion of teachers’ sleep by the entire humanity to preserve the teachers towards renovating our educational system in line with the theme for World Teachers’ Day 2022 which was held on 6th October, “The transformation of education begins with teachers”
Apart from knowing and recalling what is to be taught, the very decisive aspect of teaching is how the content is taught or transferred. Looking at this issue with eyes for the different capabilities required by the teachers brings out the ‘how’ well. So, aside from the already stressed knowledge of the subject matter, the other essential abilities are grouped into craft skills (such as lesson planning, using teaching technologies, managing learners, monitoring and assessment) and dispositions (such as essential values and attitudes, beliefs and commitment). It is a brain in optimal functional status that exhibits these capabilities for performance.
The earliest scientific evidence of a link between sleep and performance dates back to the early 1930s, when Nathaniel Kleitman, an outstanding figure in sleep medicine, discovered a sleep-dependent pattern in the speed and accuracy of thinking performance. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, ability to focus, higher-level thinking functions and entire mental health. The combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance.
Our interpretation of events may be affected. We lose our ability to make sound decisions because we can no longer accurately assess the situation and choose the correct behaviour. The judgment becomes impaired. This is exhibited in behavioural habits that are not conducive to teaching and learning. The person is easily annoyed, angry and has a lessened ability to cope with stress. This makes one more prone to emotional outbursts and an overall negative attitude towards any task at hand. Imagine a knowledgeable teacher with a remarkable load of content to be taught but suffering sleep deprivation.
The learning place would become a theatre of memory loss, misunderstanding, aggression, and impaired learning. You know, teaching occurs in many instances of information sharing and everyone can be a teacher formally or informally. For the desired teaching performance, all of us should adopt quality sleep habits.
First, practices to ensure the brain’s good health includes:
- Consistently drink water at least 4.5L – 5.0L over the day, with urine turning colourless.
- Regularly eat just enough quantity of balanced diet two or three times daily.
- Regularly do SAFE exercises like fast walking, swimming, push-up sets, etc. – 30mins daily or at least five times a week.
- Avoiding smoking, excess alcohol and stimulants like caffeine.
- Keeping stresses in check with avoidance of avoidable stressors
- Maintaining the same sleep schedule, particularly the period to go to bed
Secondly, ensure sleeping-inducing surroundings by:
- Relaxing with soothing soft music, a good book or meditation.
- Sleeping in a calming and relaxing environment
- Sleeping on a quality mattress and pillow that are conducive sleeping surfaces for supportive posture
Are you currently facing any sleeping difficulty or looking for the best way to maintain quality sleep for generally wellbeing and healthy living?
A certified specialist is best fit to offer relevant advice for maintenance of quality sleep, sleep difficulties and solution.
Do you want to contact the Orthopaedic Sleep Consultant, Dr Charles Uzodimma, kindly send your request to email@example.com or Whatsapp 08129982143
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