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Sleep Health

Getting enough quality sleep is essential to feeling your best and doing your best at school. Optimal sleep contributes to regulating timing of various body systems, enhances mood, enhances cognitive functions, enhances memory, restores your body, and improves your immune functioning. 

For more information on sleep, explore the questions below or call the HERC at 581-7786.

Sleep: Prioritizing the Daily Routine Presentation

The HERC and the Counseling Center proudly present a sleep presentation that will educate students about healthy sleep habits and how restful sleep can impact your life as a student.

Date: Location: Time:
  Check back for Fall 2015 dates!  
     
     
     

 

What does sleep do?

Optimal sleep contributes to regulating timing of various body systems, enhances and stabilizes mood, enhances and stabilizes cognitive functions and alertness, plays a role in memory consolidation, restores and regenerates, and has a role in immune functioning.  Sleep contributes to faster reaction times, enhances your ability to learn new things, contributes to emotional well-being, and can improve your performance in school.

How much sleep should I get?

Seven to nine hours of sleep a night is recommended.  You should wake up within 90 minutes of your normal waking time all seven days a week, and go to bed within an hour of your normal bedtime all seven days a week. 

What is the best environment for sleep?

Resist the urge to study, watch TV, or play video games in bed.  Use your bed only for sleep or sex.  Only go to bed when you are already feeling tired or drowsy.  Establish a bedtime routine and do this all seven days a week.  If you cannot fall asleep within ten to fifteen minutes of going to bed, get up, go to another room, and do something relaxing until you are sleepy.

What foods will help me sleep better?

Eat a snack before bed; a light carbohydrate with a small amount of fluid like milk or water.  Avoid alcohol within two hours of bedtime and caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.  If you smoke, avoid smoking within two hours of bedtime.  Foods with a high glycemic index help you fall asleep.  This means that your body breaks down the carbohydrates faster. Eaten within four hours of bedtime, these foods may help you sleep better.  Below are a list of foods that help you to sleep better

  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Graham crackers
  • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Cherries

How can I sleep better?

Limit or eliminate TV, video game use, and computer use at least one hour before bedtime and develop a relaxing routine before going to bed. Things like deep breathing and mind imagery can help you relax so you can fall asleep. Keep a journal or notepad next to your bed, and write down the things that come to mind in the middle of the night.  Eliminate naps.  If you must take a nap, limit it to no more than half an hour and no later than two in the afternoon.  Exercise regularly, but not within two hours of bedtime. 

What are the consequences of poor sleep?

Continually getting poor sleep can lead to the development of sleep disorders and can affect your academic performance.  Poor sleep can also contribute to mood disturbances, especially depression and anxiety.  Poor sleep can make you excessively sleepy during the day.

For more information on sleep, explore the questions below or call the HERC at 581-7786.