Catch up on Sleep this Summer!

by Katie Bogusz on May 30, 2017

If you lived 100 years ago, studies estimate you’d be getting 20% more sleep then you do now!  Demands of school, work, family and friends may give you less time to sleep.  Add stress or a changing schedule, and even when you have time for sleep, sometimes you can’t get to sleep.  During the summer we are given a break from our responsibilities at school.  Why not take the opportunity this summer to get more sleep? e57978dc4f4d1bac46abb9d341f3a759

Your Sleep Cycle

How and when you sleep is controlled by hormones released in a 24-hour cycle.  The cycle is set by outside cues, like increasing darkness or light throughout the day.  Your meal patterns, exercise habits, and social interactions are other cues that help set the sleep cycle.  Changes in these cues can disrupt sleep.  It takes 3 to 7 days for the body to reset its internal clock to a new schedule!  This means that some of the long days experienced during our finals week can mess up our sleep cycle and affect our ability to sleep at night.

With too little sleep, the body accumulates a “sleep debt”.  Eventually, the debt must be paid, even if this means falling asleep at a bad time, like when driving.  If you had a lot of late nights during finals week you could have accumulated a sleep debt and this could be dangerous to your health.  Some negative consequences of not getting enough sleep include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Decreased motivation, memory, concentration, and creativity
  • Increased likelihood of injury
  • Greater chance of problems such as stomach upset or headaches

So why not take the time over the summer to revamp your sleep cycle!

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How to Revamp your Sleep Cycle

Keep to a regular schedule for meals, bedtime, and waking up.  This can help your body set up a fixed internal clock for the summer.  If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try and get up at the same time every day no matter when you went to bed.  This allows your body to feel tired while also creating a fixed wake-up time for your body.

Sleep in a darkened room, darkness is a “sleepiness cue”.  A quiet room or “white noise”, like from a fan, may help keep nightly sleep cycles more regular.  Avoid substances that contain caffeine close to your bedtime because the effects can last hours.  Unplug all your gadgets before going to bed, this includes smartphones, tablets, and laptops.  These devices emit artificial light that make it harder to fall asleep and disrupts sleep cycles.  Reduce stress in general by using the time before bed to relax to give your brain the downtime it needs.

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Make it your Goal to Catch-up on Sleep this Summer

Many of us are exhausted after this semester, so why not rest up over the summer?  Make it a goal to catch-up on sleep this summer by revamping your sleep cycle.  To learn more about Outreach Education as well as the BSU Peer Educators: like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement (IN) Network by visiting  https://bridgew.collegiatelink.net/ and searching for the BSU Peer Educators.

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