Benito Vacio

When your head is full of lesson plans

How to handle teacher insomnia

Have you ever experienced an inability to sleep, "sleep deprivation" or insomnia? Are you bothered by it? How do you overcome it when you will be teaching the next day for possibly 4-5 hours?

I have met one English teacher who brags how he beats insomnia. He beats it in an unusual and sophisticated way, but I found out that what he does is very straightforward and what many sleep-deprived people could do. Let me share his ideas.

Mikhail said that he came to know the cure for insomnia when he accidentally learned how to hypnotize. According to him, he had already hypnotized several people who did things in their sleep through his commands. Surprisingly these people didn't know why they did them. There were even instances when those who were subjected to post-hypnotic suggestions in front of a crowd did without question what was suggested to them in their post somnambulant state. Unfortunately, Mikhail's director warned him that if he did not stop hypnotizing students as his "guinea pigs" he would be dismissed from his position.

The fact that he was afraid to lose his job made him stop hypnotizing his students and hypnotize himself instead. This led to his discovery of self-hypnosis, autosuggestion, mind over matter, treating psychological or minor illnesses, lowering fever, and curing flu overnight, and most of all living a positive life.

"How do you overcome insomnia?" I asked.

"Before I knew hypnosis, I was really afraid of it. But now, I'm comfortable with it. My subconscious mind tells me that my body doesn't need that much rest. This is related to my bio-rhythms. Eating a lot of meat at dinner, especially pork, drinking carbonated drinks before sleeping, having a super high spirit due to extreme happiness or low spirit because of worry or problems are a few of the causes of inability to sleep. Instead of making a fuss about it, I just lie down in bed and enjoy the night by doing the following things:

1. Counting sheep - relax in bed, close your eyes and start counting the sheep you visualize in the dark. Soon, without you knowing it, it's already morning. When you are accustomed or conditioned to this technique, you fall asleep easily. For some variations, you can choose any object to count. It doesn't have to be sheep. 

2. Reflecting life - as you are lying down comfortably in your bed, reflect on your life.. Think of all the happy things that have happened in your life, going backwards until you were an infant or even beyond that. You can also reverse it. Start with some memories when you were a child.

3. Make your computer your ally - Navigate, chat, e-mail, open your facebook, write blogs, biographies, or play games. Once you feel your eyelids dropping, it's time for sleep.

4. Watch a boring video. You can watch as many videos as you like until you become sleepy.

5. Read a boring book.

6. Do self-hypnosis- while lying down comfortably, hypnotize yourself through auto-suggestion. Tell you yourself you are tired. Your eyes are tired and that you are very sleepy. You're sleepy, very sleepy - repeat over and over until sleep comes. 

7. Utilize the moment - Make your lesson plan, do your visuals, do your worksheets, check papers, record scores and more.

8. If you're married, make love to your partner. If single, just daydream or fantasize.

I have tried his suggestions and many of them have worked. Counting sheep is my favorite, followed by looking back on my life. I also like utilizing the moment as an opportunity instead of brooding. As a result, I have become more productive, less anxious, and more positive in approaching things.

Don't fight insomnia. The more you fight it, the more you can't sleep. Worrying about it won't make you fall asleep.


I have a better idea. Prepare in advance, don't leave things till the last minute .. sleep well.

By keekwai, Chanthaburi, Thailand (11th May 2011)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Kindergarten Teaching Position

฿75,000+ / month


Primary Teaching Positions

฿55,000+ / month


Nursery Class Teacher

฿65,000+ / month

Samut Sakhon

Values and  EAL Support Teacher for Immediate Start

฿60,000+ / month

Chiang Mai

EAL Teacher

฿50,000+ / month


English Conversation Teachers for Immediate Start

฿35,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Princess

    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Brian

    American, 38 years old. Currently living in USA

  • James

    American, 72 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Mudassir

    Pakistani, 28 years old. Currently living in Pakistan

  • Von

    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Shugyla

    Kazakh, 25 years old. Currently living in Kazakhstan

The Hot Spot

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.