Happy Black and Gold Friday, Deac families. Today I bring to you an invitation to enhance your wellbeing through better sleep. Our fantastic Office of Wellbeing is doing the 2nd annual Sleepin Deacon Challenge, which is there to help students, faculty, and staff establish better sleep habits and sleep hygiene so that we can bring our best selves to everything we do (school, work, relationships, etc.)
Here are a few quick facts about sleep hygiene – are any of these surprises to you?
Light disrupts our circadian rhythm (our body’s internal 24 hour clock). Many of us would probably agree that it is hard to sleep if the lights are bright in your room. But did you know that the light that comes from your computer/phone/iPad/device emits enough light to mess with your circadian rhythm?
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours. So that after-dinner coffee could be hampering your ability to get quality sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant, and stimulants are bad for sleep. Alcohol – while it seems to make you sleepy and you might think it is a sleep aid – actually is the worst for good sleep. Though you might fall asleep faster, the alcohol disrupts the latter part of your sleep cycle.
Power naps (20 minutes or less) are OK. Napping 30 minutes or more could impair your sleep later that night.
1. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
2. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
3. Schedule sleep.
4. Avoid electronics 1 hour before bed.
5. Charge your electronics away from your bed.
6. Avoid large meals before bedtime.
7. Try a soothing ritual before bed (read a book, meditate, take a bath, give yourself a facial, whatever is soothing to you).
8. Make your bedroom a stress-free zone.
9. Make your room dark and quiet for sleep.
And this is where you come in, Deac families. JOIN ME! Who wouldn’t want better sleep, right? To feel better in the morning, to be less tired, to function better? Do a little personal assessment of which of those 9 things you already do – and which 7 of 9 you can try to commit to from February 13-24th. Keep a journal of some sort about how you are doing – what is easy, what is hard, how you feel, etc. Post on social media with the hashtag #WFUSleepinDeacon and that way the Thrive office can see how we have Deac families out there who are being virtual participants. And even if your Deacs didn’t sign up for the official challenge, maybe you could encourage a little family competition and see if they’d give it a try unofficially.
So please consider being part of the Sleepin Deacon Challenge – and if you do it, I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org (if you write, please let me know if you will allow me to use your comments anonymously – with your first initial and P’ year of your student).
For the next 3 nights I will enjoy the last of my bad sleep habit (going to sleep with the TV on). Make it a great weekend, Deac families, and a gold star to all of you observing Black and Gold Friday with your wardrobe choices 🙂