Counseling Center

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Sleep is the best 33% of life because it directly impacts the other two-thirds of life but is often underappreciated. Just like other mammals, we need sleep like we need water and food for survival. If we did not need sleep, we would have evolved as a species to not need it but we have not. There are two big categories of sleep: REM and non-REM with all stages within these categories being important for obtaining quality sleep and feeling rested the next day. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours a night. Sleep is not something that can be "made-up" as sleep lost will stay gone and you should start again the next night. Sleep is important for retaining information meaning sleep before studying is just as important as sleeping after studying. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to the following:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased risk of physical illnesses including heart disease and diabetes
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating and impaired attention
  • Increased risk of mental health concerns
  • Impaired memory
  • Higher risk of accidents

There are many things that you can do to increase your ability to obtain quality sleep listed below. These habits take time to develop and start to show benefits so be patient.

  • Start a regular sleep/wake routine. Going to bed and waking around the same timeframe daily will allow your circadian rhythms to cue your body for sleep and wake you up regularly. 
  • Engage in a soothing bed time routine. Think about a baby's soothing bedtime routine. Humans were always meant to have a soothing bedtime routine even as adults. Use low lighting, meditation, soothing bath, soothing smells, etc. 
  • Avoid phones, computers, and TVs an hour before bed as the lighting from these devices can alter your bodies natural sleep progression. 
  • Avoid intense exercise 3-4 hours prior to bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or substances prior to bed as they alter your quality of sleep

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