Delegate: Soda Kuczkowski | CEO + Sleep Health Educator
Affiliation: START WITH SLEEP, LLC
Short Bio: Soda Kuczkowski is a Sleep Health Educator and Certified Sleep Coach who has passionately worked in the field of sleep medicine and sleep health for the past 16 years. She is the founder of START WITH SLEEP an organization that serves as a community resource for sleep health advocacy by providing programming for corporate wellness initiatives and school systems, as well as a global certification program for health and wellness professionals. She also operates a sleep health education resource center and retail boutique that provides support in the form of global seminars, sleep consulting and coaching services, as well as an array of curated sleep tools in Buffalo, New York.
Activity: As part of START WITH SLEEP’s mission towards advocacy for the importance of sleep health in the workplace, this year founder and sleep health educator, Soda Kuczkowski will be providing a keynote to a local school district on the importance of sleep as self-care.
Sleep is essential for good health. It is our body’s natural way of nourishing and replenishing our resources. When we do not get enough adequate quality sleep it can impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Teachers are at increased risk as the role can be challenging in the current landscape. To ensure we are supporting teacher retention, development, and recruitment it is vital that we incorporate self-care strategies into health and wellness initiatives that include sleep health education and support.
A Ball State University study conducted in 2008 concluded that on average 4 out of 10 teachers get less than 6 hours of sleep per night. Not sleeping long or well enough puts teachers at risk for sleep deprivation. According to Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, sleep deprivation can negatively impact mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive function, all essential to mental performance.
Sleeping well fuels creativity, aids in decision-making, and helps manage empathy, mood, concentration, memory, and stress. All of which have a serious impact on the ability of teachers to do their jobs effectively.
Fortunately, school districts are now beginning to understand that supporting the social and emotional well-being and resilience of their teachers and staff is critical for creating a positive school climate, retaining quality educators, and preventing burnout.
Sleep health should be an important part of wellness programs in schools to help build a culture of health that benefits everyone in the school community. Educators who are well-rested also set the example to help students learn habits that can extend good practices into the home.
Incorporating sleep education into health and wellness initiatives serves to support optimal health and well-being, a tool for learning and development, as well as stress management, and as a powerful mental and physical performance enhancer.
Location: East Aurora Union Free School District – East Aurora, New York
Date of Activity: 3/17/2023
Submitted by: Soda Kuczkowski