Sleep and Naps
Good sleep health is important for our health and wellness. Sleep is essential for the body and mind to recharge, it is the time when our body systems reset and recover. Young adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep can cause attention lapses, reduced cognition, delayed reactions, and mood shifts. Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increased risk for chronic diseases and poorer mental health. Sleep is a vital part of well-being, but how do we know if we are getting enough sleep and how do we increase sleep? If you spend more than 30 minutes trying to fall asleep or feel fatigued all day, it might be time to assess your sleep. Options to improve your sleep include:
- Exercise regularly throughout the week
- De-stress and wind down by avoiding stressful or stimulating tasks
- Reduce or eliminate blue light and separate screen time from sleep time.
- Select food and drinks that promote sleep (lean proteins, nuts, relaxing teas) and avoid heavy meals before bed
- Use a sleep diary to review patterns and make incremental changes
Check out more tips and tricks from the National Sleep Foundation.
Napping is the next best thing if you can't get enough sleep at night! Ever wonder the best length of time for a nap?
- 10-20 minutes: Ideal napping time. Boosts alertness and energy. This length limits you from entering deep sleep.
- 30 minutes: Not so ideal. This may cause a groggy feeling for 30 minutes before you actually feel better from the nap (and make better decisions)
- 60 minutes: Best for facts, faces and names. This nap helps improve memory and includes the deepest type of sleep. Be ready for some grogginess though.
- 90 minutes: Full REM cycle. This nap is a full cycle of sleep and helps with improved emotional and procedural memory and creativity. This length usually has less grogginess.
- 34% of adults in the U.S. say they take a nap on a typical day.
- Ideal nap time is 1pm-4pm.
- Best nap length? 10-20 minutes.
- A person who dreams during a short nap is likely sleep-deprived.
- Naps are better than coffee at helping with memory (caffeine decreases memory function).
GVSU Nap Map
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*We'll be adding more locations soon!
REFRESH is an 8-week sleep-health program for college students. It is based on CBT strategies for insomnia and poor sleep quality. It offers a cost-effective way for students with poor sleep quality to improve their sleep and research shows it also reduces depressive symptom severity. Here are the 8 weekly PDFs for you to utilize to improve your sleep quality.
Citation: Trockel, M., Manber, R., Chang, V., Thurston, A., Taylor, C. B. 2011 An e-mail delivered CBT for sleep-health program for college students: effects on sleep quality and depression symptoms. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 7(3): 276-281.