While there’s no magic number for the “right” amount of sleep as the number of hours each person needs will vary, seven to eight hours of Zzz’s each night are recommended for adults. Before you decide there’s no way you’re fitting that many hours into your schedule, explore some sleep evidence and supportive tools.
Insufficient sleep has been associated wtih:
- Chronic diseases (ie. diabetes, cardiovascular disease)
- Life-threatening accidents
On the other hand, a good night’s sleep has been proven to:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve memory and focus
- Help your body heal faster and improve immune system function
- Improve mood
- Increase alertness and reaction times
While sufficient sleep may seem elusive during the semester, you can adopt habits that help you grab a bit more sleep and increase the quality of your slumber time.
Make a sleep routine and stick to the schedule: Having a consistent sleep schedule reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle, leading to a better night of sleep.
Set up a sleep-conducive environment: Choose the right mattress, turn off electronics, dim the lights, keep the temperature cool, and reserve the bed for sleep and sex (not school work!)
Pay attention to what you eat and drink: Lighten up on alcohol, caffeine, and heavy or spicy meals, especially in the evening. Sip on herbal tea to help you relax before bed and munch on foods high in magnesium and Vitamin B.
Wind down: Unplug from all electronic devices and spend the hour before bed doing something relaxing.
Exercise regularly: Breaking a sweat daily helps to improve the quality of sleep and expend energy. For some, be careful not to exercise too close to bed time or you’ll have trouble falling sleep.
Wake up naturally: Ditch the alarm clock and snooze buttons—they wreak havoc on your body’s natural sleep rhythms.
- Columbia University Sleep Disorders Center
- A! Sleep from Columbia Health
- Sleep.Org by the National Sleep Foundation
How We Can Help
- Make a Wellness Appointment
- Fit in some exercise with a yoga or Pilates class
- Review your diet with a nutritionist.
In the Community
- Visit the Columbia University Sleep Center:
- Utilize Breather
- LEO Center & Spirituality Mind Body Institute