Finals got you stressing? Not sleeping as much as you need to? Seriously debating the pro’s/con’s of directly injecting caffeine into your bloodstream? Well, you might want to reconsider that 5th cup of coffee after reading these lovely sleep tidbits sent in by our amazing and dedicated Peer Health Advocates.
For more advice and information on sleep, stop by WesWell or set up an appointment with a Health Educator at WesWell.
Sleep Fun Facts:
- Most adults need between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep per night – typically we should feel wide-awake and energetic all day without a significant midday drop in alertness.
- Light is the most powerful cue affecting sleep: darkness triggers the release of melatonin, a hormone that brings on sleep.
- It takes one hour of sleep to pay for every two hours of wakefulness.
- A well rested person takes 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep.
- Brief naps taken daily are far healthier than sleeping in or taking very long naps on the weekend.
- Consumption of caffeine will be followed by feelings of lethargy and reduced R.E.M. (or dream) sleep that night; a debt in your sleep bank account is not reduced by artificial stimulants.
- Nobody of college age should expect to fall sleep before 11:30 or midnight because the adolescent brain is set up not to start secreting melatonin before then.
- The process of sleep restores, rejuvenates, and energizes the body and brain.
Maas’ Golden Rules for Peak Performance
- Establish a regular sleep schedule, and have it be consistent during the week as well as the weekend – sync the hours spent in bed with the sleepy phase of your biological clock.
- Get continuous sleep. While it’s normal to awaken several times, it’s disruptive to remain awake for longer than 20 minutes
- Taking a really hot shower will help you sleep. If you raise your body temperature right before bedtime, then the process of cooling down is something that can bring on good sleep.
- As a general rule, never exercise within three hours of bedtime, or you will not be able to fall asleep. An exception to the rule is satisfying sex, which can promote deep sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after 2 in the afternoon, and nicotine and any liqueur within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Make sure your pillow is not dead: when folded in half, it should open up by itself. It is essential to keep your head, neck, and spinal cord in alignment.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is cool quiet, comfortable, and free of interruption.
- Develop sleep rituals, such as listening to relaxing music. It’s important to give your body cues that it’s time to slow down and sleep.
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed.
- Get your anxiety and stress in check. Residual stress, worry, and anger from you day can make it very difficult to sleep well. Take note of what seems to be a recurring theme, as it will help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress under control.