Don’t press the snooze button on this UHS Health Promotion Office program! Take part in the Zzzs to A Sleep Challenge, designed to improve basic sleep hygiene and enhance sleep quantity and quality. Throughout the program, participants will receive motivational tips, downloadable sleep logs, and weekly emails with information on important topics related to sleep, such as technology, food, and alcohol.

As college students, one of the factors that affects our sleep most and is particularly hard to avoid is the negative impacts of technology on our sleep. Technology, such as sleep apps that help track sleep, can be used to help our sleep patterns but can also hinder our ability to fall asleep or achieve restorative sleep. Most of our electronic screens emit blue light, resembling the brightness of the sun. At night, the lack of sunlight allows our bodies to release melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone. If we continue to look at our electronic screens emitting blue light, our body struggles to produce the necessary hormones for restful sleep. A blue light blocker software, such as f.lux can be downloaded on to electronic devices to dim the brightness and warm the color of the screen, thereby promoting improved sleep.

The consequences of not getting sufficient sleep can even include worsened academic performance. Research, including one study from the University of Minnesota, has consistently linked insufficient sleep to worsened academic performance. As of 2017, 24% of University of Rochester students report that their academic performance has been adversely affected by sleep difficulties, a number that has increased since 2014. Making sufficient sleep a priority can make you feel re-energized, ready for the day, and can also improve academic performance and productivity.

Many of us create negative sleep habits that become hard to change, like using our phones right before going to bed. Join us in our 21 day program as we seek to better understand how our bodies function when we sleep and break those negative sleeping habits. You can register at any time to be a part of this 21 day challenge!

By Annabelle Mournet
Peer Health Advocate
Class of 2019