Health Topics

Sleep

Are you always feeling tired or falling asleep in class? Maybe you're not getting enough sleep! Sleep is a period of time when a person restores their brain and body function. Sleep helps a person in many different ways. Getting good restorative sleep at night can help with learning, memory retention, mood, and improved body function.

Click here for more information on Sleep: Sleep WellFacts Sheet

College Sleep Facts

  • 70% of students report obtaining less than 8 hours of sleep per night
  • Research at Brown University has found that approximately 11% of students report good sleep, while 73% report sleep problems
  • 18% of college men and 30% of college women report having suffered from insomnia in the past 3 months
  • Sleep deprivation in students has been linked to lower GPAs because sleep affects concentration, memory and the ability to learn
  • 50% of college students report daytime sleepiness and 70% report insufficient amounts of sleep at night
  • 27% of students are at risk of developing at least one sleep disorder or sleep-related problem
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to a series of problems including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and stroke

 

College students should aim for 8 hours of sleep per night

 

Would you take a test drunk?

Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired brain function. A person’s brain that has been without sleep for 18 or more hours begins to show the same level of impairment produced by specific blood alcohol levels.

 

 Time Awake Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Equivalent 
 18 hours straight  0.05%
 19-24 hours straight  0.10% (legally drunk!)

 

Ditch the all-nighters and make sure to get sleep the night before a big test!

 

The Blue Light Effect

Oftentimes, the environment affects a person’s sleep quality and their ability to all asleep quickly. Blue light radiation emitting from phones, televisions and computers disrupts the production of melatonin in the body and can disrupt a person’s internal biological clock. These blue lights trick the body into thinking it is still daylight out which prevents the release of melatonin as part of a normal sleep pattern. This leads to trouble falling asleep at night and getting quality sleep throughout the night.

 

Sleep Tips

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (Sleep only an hour longer during the weekend than your latest weekday wake-up time)

  • Stop using all technology at least 30 min before bed

  • Do not consume caffeine after 3 PM

  • Spend time outside everyday

  • Take a hot bath or shower before bed

  • Limit naps and make sure they are no more than 20min

  • Avoid activity on your bed other than sleeping

 
For more information please email healthed@smu.edu