Hello again, everyone, welcome to episode 84, where I’m going to have another chat to Beth Duhon, about a specific area in music teacher wellbeing. This one is all about resting and recharging and sleep. It’s so important.
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The transcript of episode 084 of The Crescendo Music Education Podcast is below.
Quotes About the Importance of Sleep
So how about this for a quote to start off,
“Your brain uses sleep as fuel, like food and water for your mind. The more quality sleep you get, the better your brain functions.”Vernon Williams, MD – Neurologist
Now, I think most of you who have had a really good night’s sleep would agree that is it’s it’s just so true, isn’t it, you get a good night’s sleep, you’re ready to go. Here’s another little quote from John Steinbeck, the American author:
“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning, after the Committee of Sleep has worked on it.”John Steinbeck
I like that – the Committee of Sleep, I thought that was great.
And I liked this Irish proverb, but get ready for a good laugh,
“And a long sleep is the best cure for anything.”Irish Proverb
I think that is a great proverb, I should actually have that printed on my wall.
And as Beth herself says in this upcoming episode, if we could only have one cue roll, it would be sleep. So let’s get to it. Beth and I are going to have a chat about resting and recharging.
The Broken Culture of Sleep
Welcome to the Crescendo Music Education Podcast. I’m Debbie O’Shea, and I’m here with Beth Duhon, and we are going to get into her book, ‘Happier Music Teacher’ today. I’m really excited. We’re going to talk about the first week, which is all about rest and recharge, oh, the power of sleep, and rest.
So I imagine you’re talking about sleep, as well as just rest and downtime. So let’s get into it. And it’s great to have you back. Hello, Beth.
Hello, Debbie. Thank you. It’s good to be back. This is a passion topic for me. And I will be honest, or just fully transparent. I’m not sleeping well right now. But I’m still trying. And sometimes I have to remind myself that my elementary school does not need to come in my bed at night, that I have to draw boundaries with that just with my mind, because I’ve just it’ll be racing through the day.
But I think for a lot of us, our culture is broken around sleep. We think that it’s lazy. We think that we have to earn it, you know, naps feel like they’re sinful and indulgent. And none of that.
So if I could do anything, I always say if I had just one cure all for every music teacher trouble, start with sleep.
Set a Bedtime for Better Sleep
Yes, I could not agree more. I could not agree more. And I know when I have done my self development and self reflection and tried to improve things over the years, several years ago, I went through some fairly major, rejigging sleep was the big one, I just decided I am having a bedtime, and I’m a bit of a night owl.
So and that’s when the brain is going. And then it would be 11, 12 o’clock at night and on. I just cannot function properly. Oh, I’m functioning well then just not the next day. So, I set myself a bedtime. I really do stick to it. Oh, the occasional outing or whatever. But I have a bedtime now the difference it made to my life was dramatic.
Isn’t it amazing? It’s the simplest thing on earth yet. It’s not the simplest thing on the earth because nobody does it. But just the magic of having a bedtime. And my school starts early. And it’s somewhat far away. So if I’m going to do any of that I really have to have the bedtime of a toddler.
I go to bed before my son does at night. And I’m like, ‘You need to go to bed on time. Good night. I’m going to the bedroom.’
Mm hmm. So I think that’s step one. Isn’t it? Like I think that as adults, we fight against that because we’re adults now. We don’t need a bedtime. I can choose how long I stay up.
And I think there’s an element of that in our minds, but having that bedtime it’s like a luxury one of the things I did to help me stick to it. Is that I have my pre bedtime routine.
The Power of a Bedtime Routine
It helps set you up to sleep. And it helps trigger your body to know that it’s sleep. And I have set steps that I do. It sounds so regimented, but the difference it makes to the rest of my life. And it’s not that long to do the, you know, the set things, that brushing of the teeth and whatever that that lead to it.
And then I allow myself a little reading. So I think I know personally, I’ve done a lot to make that happen. I still have real issues sometimes. With turning my brain off, though. Yeah. So do you have any advice in there about turning your brain off?
How To Turn Your Brain Off for Sleep
Man, I used to be world class at this, the world could literally be falling down around me and I would not wake for any reason. And as I’ve aged, that has been harder for me, my friends recommend having an notepad by your bed and writing it down. So you can turn it off something I do. I don’t know if it’s good or bad sleep hygiene.
But I will sometimes give up on the master bedroom and go to the guest bedroom just because it’s a little change of scenery. It’s a cool, fresh start.
And I try not to turn on the screens.
Another bit of wisdom that helped me is my son’s sitter would always say, you know, it’d be naptime, and he’d be jumping up and down on his bed and all this. And she said, you know, he’s not sleeping, but he’s resting.
And so I’ve had to start taking some belief and some hope that okay, I’m laying there quietly. with my eyes closed. I’m not up and about moving. I’m not sleeping. I wish I was sleeping. But getting more round up about it isn’t going to help. So I’m just going to submit to it. And rest.
Yes, yes. I tried to do that as well. And I say that’s still better than working or Yes, roaming around. I agree. I agree. So yes, sleep is so so important. But what about actually resting? is there advice in your book about resting, not just sleeping?
Advice on Rest vs. Sleep
Others curious, yes, couple of things are giving yourself a work curfew. So there’s always going to be more work to be done. And like I said, it’s interesting, because I’m a little disconnected from the book. It’s been about a year since I’ve written it. So some of this may not even be in there. But I’ll give you the general principles…
Give Yourself a Work Curfew
Having a work curfew – because any job will expand for the time that we give it, right? And I could really literally work 24/7 on my schoolwork and not be finished or not think it was high enough quality or and and and there’s always something more there. And no one at school is probably going to stop you from that – it’s an inside job. You’ve got to stop yourself. So that’s a biggie.
Give Yourself a Sabbath/Non-Work Day
Yes, the other one. And this is a long standing habit of mine. I love it. And I really would not trade it is the concept of a Sabbath or a day that I don’t work. Now, I am not as hardcore about it as some people are. And I might even be misusing the term.
But literally on Sundays, that’s my day of rest. So I’m not doing schoolwork. I’m not doing housework, I’m probably not really going out and like grocery shopping, or you know, any of those type of things. I really try to draw limits around it that one day a week.
And I noticed that it benefits the other six days. When I skip it, I can tell that it also affects the other six days that comes out. And this seems so I’d rather do it on purpose control it no one’s gonna throw you a ticker tape parade when you first start doing it. But it has been wonderful for my mental health, my spiritual health, all of it.
Yes. Great advice. And that would not be easy to do. But I’m sure it would be magic, it would really help wouldn’t.
Here’s where I go with it. You know, because it was challenging to start, which seems funny. I think I even started before I was a mother. But you might even think about well, maybe I can’t spend a whole day. And I’m not going to build up to it. But you could start with a few hours. Yes, maybe the last few hours of your Sunday night. You just know I’m gonna intentionally going to put on a movie and order takeout and have a relaxing into my weekend.
And that could be a little mini Sabbath. And then as you build up and like I said for me, and sometimes I’ll come back. I’m like, ‘Oh, gosh, I don’t know how this is going to happen Monday. But Lord, here we go.’
And I just don’t. It always seems to work out. And that maybe not necessarily the way I think it would work out. And like I said, it’s it’s really been a blessing to me and my family. It’s no longer a surprise or a shock.
That’s kind of how our household runs on that day.
Yeah. Oh, I love that. And I love that advice of just take that little bit and start. That’s great. And I think we’d all feel very different. If we were more rested so that we could recharge.
Nap for Better Sleep
I will tell you emotionally for most of us if you are feeling edgy, a nap will not hurt anything. It’s you know, tired and grumpy are synonymous for a reason. And if it was a toddler, you say, ‘Man, that kid needs a nap.’
Well, we are kids and we need a nap and we need a rest.
I wish I had the source for this. We are the only mammal that will intentionally deny ourselves sleep. No other mammal does it. They sleep when they’re tired. That’s the end. Yes.
I had never thought of that. Here we are. You can’t see yes, my puppy. I have a puppy – she’s one in a little bit now. And when she’s tired, she just lays down she runs herself ragged and then…Oh, she died now and now, she’s just asleep.
So you are right we are. It’s actually not very intelligent of our species is it? I have always always been a fan of what we call a Nana nap even when I was younger. I quick nap in the lunchtime afternoon.
Michael Hyatt who I follow when we buy his books and listen to his podcasts. I mean, he’s he’s a huge proponent of the word “Nap.” he actually has somewhere where he naps in his office.
We call it in Australia, we tend to call it a Nana nap, which isn’t particularly fair to Nana’s because you can have a nap if you’re a grandmother or not. But none of that we tend to call it here in Australia. I don’t know it’s a short nap.
We call it a snap.
A snap! A short nap. I love it. I love that. Look, I think that is wonderful. We are all thinking about resting, we are all thinking about recharging. And I challenge all of my listeners to do that. And if you weren’t listening to the first episode in this series, I’ll pop that link in the show notes because we’re going to have a little series of these where we talk about what we can do for your well being and I am joined with Beth Doohan and we are going to meet again soon to talk about the next section of her book. We will talk again soon Beth
Sounds great Debbie!
Thank you for joining me for this podcast. Don’t forget, you’ll find the show notes and transcript and all sorts of information on crescendo.com.au. If you’ve enjoyed the podcast or found it valuable, you might like to rate it on your podcast player and leave a review. I’d really appreciate it if you did. All I can be as the best version of me. All you can do is be the best you until next time, bye.
Just for Laughs
As we know laughter relieves stress. Don’t lose sight of the funny side of life.
Alexa, how do I turn you off?
She answered, ‘You walk around the room naked.’
Links Mentioned in the Episode:
📕 Happier Music Teacher by Beth Duhon
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