When life gets busy, sleep is the first thing that many sacrifice. However, not getting sufficient sleep can be harmful overall. Sleep is critical to learning, memory, your immune system, mood, judgment, and overall health.
Common Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
- Lowered brain function
- Slowed reaction time
- Increased likelihood of errors
- Short-term memory loss
- Suppression of immune system
Tips and Tools for Better Sleep
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, helps ensure better quality and more consistent sleep.
- Keep a sleep diary. This will help you identify behaviors that may be influencing your quality of sleep.
- Base when you go to sleep on your sleep cycles. Doing so will decrease the likelihood of you waking in the middle of a sleep cycle, which can increase feelings of grogginess. You can use this bedtime calculator to determine the best time to go to bed.
- Manage your schedule to ensure you allot sufficient time for the proper amount of sleep.
- Increase your sunlight exposure. When you are exposed to natural light, your body will produce more daytime hormones to help decrease sleepiness during the day. Use the Sunny Spots Map to find a few locations on campus that get lots of natural light.
- If you choose to nap, do so earlier in the day (before 4 p.m.) and keep it to about 20–30 minutes.
- Turn off all of your electronics at least 60 minutes before you go to bed.
- Limit your caffeine intake at least 4–6 hours before you go to sleep in order to give your body ample time to eliminate the stimulant from your body and allow your brain to sleep when it's time.
- Participate in our Refresh Sleep program for more skills and strategies to achieve more restful nights and wakeful days.