University Health Service (UHS)
Health Promotion Office
Becoming a Smart Sleeper
Sleep Fast Facts
- All adults over the age of 18 need eight to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Consistent bedtimes, as well as wake times, affect overall academic performance.
- REM (rapid eye movement) phase is needed for learning and memory function. Eight to nine hours of sleep is needed to achieve the recommended 2-3 cycles of REM sleep.
- Eight hours of sleep aids in memory consolidation, which leads to better performance on exams.
- Sleep deprivation is associated with increased tension, depression, irritability, confusion, and overall lower life satisfaction.
- Disrupted sleep can be a result of sleep disorders and medical issues.
What can you do to be a "Smart Sleeper"?
- Evaluate your sleep schedule. Identify areas for improvement.
- Get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Create a consistent bedtime and wake time.
- Reduce caffeine consumption prior to bedtime. Caffeine effects last up to seven hours in your blood stream. Caffeine affects both falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Do not accumulate sleep "debt." You cannot make up for lost sleep!
- Avoid pulling all-nighters for exams and papers – a good night's sleep will help you stay ahead of the curve.
- Establish your bed as a comfortable, relaxing place to sleep and find other spaces to study and do work.
- It's best to avoid aerobic exercise in the 1 to 2 hours before you go to bed.
- Do you have a medical condition? Restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep apnea, and insomnia are just some of the conditions that can cause sleep problems.
- Are there environmental factors that are contributing to your sleep deprivation? Examples are: variations in temperature, noise, and light
- Does your schedule change frequently?
Links to help you become a "Smart Sleeper"
Alice! Health Promotion
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Health Education Links – Sleep
National Institutes of Health
National Sleep Foundation