Sleep is an important thing for college students to plan for in their lives. That’s the message that participants learned at this year’s “Sleep More, Stress Less” seminar held on April 4 in the Student Center Room 310A from 3 to 4 p.m.
“Hopefully, this creates advocates for better sleep on campus,” Bryan Whitaker, event coordinator and a graduate student majoring in Health Education, said. Whitaker is also part of the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility.
According to the seminar, 40 percent of students on campus said they experienced sleep difficulties during the 2017-2018 school year. 1 out of 4 students said that their academic performance was affected by sleep issues and 60 percent of students have reported that they felt tired, sleepy or dragging during the day.
This seminar was held to teach students ways of improving their health by encouraging changes in their sleep habits.
“Sleep is the foundation of good health,” Whitaker said. The seminar introduced participants to sleep techniques that are actually used in sleep research studies and the techniques shown here were designed to help give students a better quality of sleep.
The event began with a discussion on the participants’ experiences with sleep and the issues that they’ve dealt with. Each person talked about why it was hard for them to get sleep.
A discussion was also held that reminded the participants that using devices such as smartphones and laptops before going to bed isn’t ideal for good sleep because the light given off by these devices reduces melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for controlling the body’s sleep/wake cycles.
Near the end of the seminar, a yoga instructor named Kelsey introduced this exercise to the participants. Yoga was presented as an exercise that can help people deal with stress and sleep better.
Participants were given sleep masks, chamomile tea and earplugs as a way to help participants improve their sleep habits.