Counseling Center

Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep, along with physical activity and attending to your personal nutritional needs, are the foundation of basic physical and mental health. Without this foundation, you may find you're more vulnerable to anxiety symptoms. 

Lots of important things happen in your brain and body while you sleep. The research shows that while you sleep, your brain is hard at work forming the pathways necessary for learning and consolidating the information you’ve taken in that day. Sleep deprivation will impact your mood, energy, memory, grades, ability to focus, and your ability to concentrate in class and on homework. 

Research shows that you need 7 to 8 hours of sleep consistently EVERY night to be well-rested and perform optimally. As we all may know, in college, it’s common for people to stay up late, pull all-nighters, "catch up" on sleep later, take naps, etc... Does this sound familiar to you? HOWEVER, anything less than 7 to 8 hours a night consistently, will impact your functioning.

For example, if you've ever pulled an all-nighter and then didn't do so great on that test the next day and were wondering why, lack of sleep may have contributed. In addition to difficulty concentrating, chronic sleep debt can lead to physical health problems.

So sleep is important. Got it. How do you improve sleep then? Click here to consider ways to improve your sleep hygiene.

We want to highlight the tip regarding an electronics curfew. Your sleep cycle is tied to light. That’s why we get sleepy when it gets dark. When we use back-lit electronic devices such as TV, Computer, iPad, phone, etc., two things happen: 1) the sleep-promoting neurons in the brain are stopped by the artificial light and 2) the nightly release of melatonin which is the hormone that encourages sleep, is also inhibited. So instead, the light from the electronic device activates neurons that make people more alert. Therefore, it is harder to fall asleep. Sleep experts suggest an "electronics curfew" which means refraining from using electronics 60 minutes before going to sleep.

Please pick one thing from this list that you are going to do for the next week. Go ahead and circle, star, asterisk or highlight it.

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Last Updated: 6/21/22