Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sleep and the female teacher

Julie at I Speak Math named sleep her favourite thing of the week. This reminded me that my biggest personal challenge to myself this year was getting enough sleep. Can't say I've done well at it.

I normally go to bed at 10 with my husband but I'm no good at working at night so get up at 3 most days to do marking and prep. Five hours is not enough and definitely does not constitute 'beauty sleep'. Something's gotta give somewhere because besides being bad for my complexion, lack of sleep
- makes me crabby and less able to handle the ups and downs of a school day (and be a good teacher)
- my mom had breast cancer (which she fortunately survived brilliantly) but I've been trying to find out what might have triggered it.
She was always up well before the rest of the family (though not as early as I'm getting up now).

This is what I've found out:
1. Continued lack of sleep contributes significantly to breast cancer risk. (Read here.)
2. The California Teacher's Study investigated health trends among more than 130 000 female teachers and school administrators. Female teachers had a higher risk of breast cancer than the average population.
Are there some dots to connect here?

I'm not writing this to scare anyone but to motivate myself and others to look after ourselves. Which comes at the end of the list much too often.

P.S. Bit of good news: us female teachers are less likely to get lung or cervical cancer. Less living on the wild side, I guess.

Also kinda good, among the many negative health impacts of not sleeping enough is obesity. So I'm hoping I can sleep myself thin :)

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