Right now many of us are still adjusting to major changes to our way of life. As we prepare for finals and establish new routines, our sleep may be impacted more than usual. Whether you’ve found yourself sleeping in later, taking more naps, staying up late or fighting anxious thoughts, irregular sleep habits can negatively impact our lives.
Research shows that sleep is vital for our mental and physical health. In fact, getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night can make a difference in our mood, metabolism, memory, immune function and more. Whether you’re feeling anxious from COVID-19, finals or both, here are some tips to help you make the most of your sleep schedule.
If you’re having trouble sleeping
As we adjust to changes, you may find yourself losing sleep or experiencing insomnia. This can be due to anxiety, lack of structure or impacts to your daily routine or schedule. Here are some tips that can help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you’re sleeping more than usual
While some of us may have difficulty sleeping, others may find themselves sleeping more than usual. You may be experiencing hypersomnia if you are taking frequent naps during the day, having difficulty waking up in the morning, sleeping through your alarm, feeling groggy throughout the day or feeling the urge to sleep more often. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including boredom or depression. Here are some tips to help you get your sleep schedule back on track.
If you’re still struggling
Changes in sleep patterns can be a side effect and early warning sign of depression. Let your doctor or therapist know if you are not able to sleep or if you are sleeping too much.
Students can schedule a virtual visit with Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) by calling 303-492-2277. To connect with local counseling services, visit colorado.thrivingcampus.com. CAPS is also offering a free virtual workshop for anxiety reduction that’s available online.
Health Promotion also offers a variety of services to students that may help to improve your sleep habits. Students can schedule a virtual meeting with a Peer Wellness Coach to create a personalized schedule, self-care plan and more. Health Promotion is also offering a free virtual Self Care Health Hut on April 21. You can also check out their mindful meditations online.
The Rec Center is offering free online meditations and stretching routines to help you relax, refresh and reset throughout the day.
It may also be beneficial to use free apps like CBT-i Coach to track your sleep. These kinds of apps can help you develop better sleep habits, improve your sleep environment and learn techniques to alleviate insomnia.