Sleep: A True “Frenemy”

Elise Korte is a Wellness and Prevention Office intern and guest ERC blogger.

As sad as we all were to see summer come to a close, it’s always nice to come back to the friendly face of routine. We’re starting to settle into classes, getting back to the books, and let me guess: You made a new school year resolution! Whether it is to earn your best grades yet or to shed some pounds from oh so delicious home cooked meals, sleep could be your key to success.  Sleep is a true ‘frenemy’- it can help or seriously hinder your health, grades, and mood.

This school year, make a resolution to add quality sleep to your to-do list.  Not convinced it deserves to make the list? Business Insider recently shared 15 interesting sleep facts that all college students can relate to:

  1. Make sleep your study buddy.
    Sleeping soon after studying or learning new material helps our brains remember it.
  2. Sleep makes for better sex.
    Sleep deprivation has been linked to less interest in sex by both males and females.
  3. Avoid weight gain.
    Lack of sleep weakens communication between your brain and stomach, making you more likely to overeat.
  4. How you doze matters.
    There is such a thing as sleeping too much, and it can actually decrease your lifespan. Sleeping too little also has the same effect.

(Sorry, but sleeping with books under your pillow won’t magically fill your brain with exam material!)

I’m sure you’ve all heard that as young adults, we need 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night to be our best selves during the day. But how in the world is a studious, involved, and social college student like you supposed to fit in that much sleep?

Here are five strategies you can use to get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Put your thoughts to bed: Make a to-do list of everything that keeps you up to help your mind rest.
  2. Consider your caffeine intake: Try to avoid caffeine at least 4 to 6 hours before going to sleep.
  3. Get yourself in the mood: Stop studying 30 minutes before bed and do something relaxing.
  4. Use your bed only for sleep and sex: create an association between your bed and sleep.
  5. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it! (Even on weekends!)

For other tips and information on sleep friendly apps check out this infographic from Greatist and the Wellness Office blog, Spread the Health.  How do you make time for quality sleep? Let us know by commenting on this post!

Get more tips on sleep from Wellness & Prevention services this week during Midterm Mashup. Got Sleep workshops will be held Monday, September 30 at 4 p.m. and Tuesday, October 1 at 5 p.m. at the Center for Student Services, room 101.

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