Are you sleepy?
Here are signs that you may need more sleep:
- “Zoning out” or dozing off during the day
- Losing track of lectures, readings, or videos
- Excessive blinking or yawning
- Tripping or stumbling more than usual
- Feeling sluggish
What can SNOOZE do for you?
The amount of sleep that a college student gets is one of the strongest predictors of academic success. Here’s how sleep helps.
- Fosters memory formation and learning: Save yourself some study time—your brain will be hard at work solidifying memories while you sleep.
- Regulates mental and emotional health: Sleep helps you take on challenges with more resilience.
- Keeps your immune system strong: You’re more likely to get sick when sleep-deprived, which could mean missing out on social activities, class, and other important events.
- Supports physical health: Sleep helps regulate metabolism and many other body functions.
- Enhances your productivity: Getting quality sleep boosts productivity, which can free up time for friends, hobbies, or more sleep!
- Helps you stay alert and safe: Dozing off in class may be awkward, but falling asleep at work or at the wheel could be dangerous. Did you know that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving?
Top tips for U-M students
- Nap!: A nap lasting 15-45 minutes can give you energy, make you more alert and improve mental performance. But beware: naps longer than 30-45 minutes (after you enter deep sleep) may actually leave you feeling more groggy and tired! Avoid late afternoon and evening naps, which can disrupt night sleep.
- Your wake time is actually more important than your bedtime in regulating your sleep patterns. Aim to wake up at approximately the same time every day, even weekends. At the very least, try to avoid an erratic wake schedule, even if this means scheduling later classes so you can have a more consistent wake time.
- Sleeping in: It's a myth that you can make-up for lost sleep during the week. Most people need to be awake for 16-17 hours to be able to fall asleep at night. So sleep in until noon on the weekend, it might be hard to fall asleep before 3 or 4AM, which can perpetuate a late sleep cycle. Try to wake up a little earlier (even 15-30 minutes earlier than normal) so that you can fall asleep at night.
- Steer clear of all-nighters: Staying up all night decreases your ability to process and analyze information, so you may do worse on exams or assignments the next day. To best prepare your mind, get 7-9 hours of sleep, but even a few hours of sleep are better than none.
- Trouble falling asleep: Try using white noise, listening to music, or using a guided mindfulness meditation on www.calm.com
- Turn off screens 30-60 minutes before bed: Staring at your TV, computer, or tablet screen can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep. If you can’t turn off the tech, dim your screen, put your phone on silent, or use the “Do not disturb” option on your phone.
- Exercise regularly to create a more restful sleep, but avoid exercise within two hours of bedtime because it may be too energizing.
- Rethink your drink: Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep. Caffeine stays in your system for up to eight hours and can keep you awake. Alcohol, though it may make you feel drowsy, decreases sleep duration and quality.
- Create a positive sleep environment. Think cool, dark and quiet! Use thick curtains or an eye mask to block out light and a white noise machine or ear plugs to reduce noise. Students can pick-up free sleep kits with ear plugs and eye mask at Wolverine Wellness, 2nd floor of UHS.
- Clear your mind and relax. Journaling can help de-clutter your mind, and soothing music or warm non-caffeinated tea can help you relax.
When sleep is a problem
Minor sleep problems can be managed through lifestyle changes.
If you don’t fall asleep within twenty minutes of going to bed, try reading or doing something relaxing until you feel more tired.
Try using an online REM (rapid eye movement) cycle monitor to help determine the best time to wake up based on your bedtime. It could help you wake up during a lighter stage of sleep, leaving you feeling more rested.
If you experience extreme or persistent sleep difficulties, you may have a sleep disorder. Examples include:
- Inability to fall or stay asleep
- Being too sleepy during the day
- Snoring or pauses in your breathing during sleep
Treatments are available. Talk to your clinician about options.
University Health Service:
- Students can pick-up free sleep kits with ear plugs and eye mask at Wolverine Wellness, 2nd floor of UHS.
- Wellness Coaching -- Discuss sleep concerns and impacts on personal well-being with a wellness coach. FREE to undergraduate & graduate students. Easy sign-up online.
- To use UHS, see Schedule an Appointment -- appointments are required for most medical services, although options are available for urgent problems
- Nurse Advice by Phone is available day and night, which may save a trip to UHS or the ER
Counseling and Psychological Services
Free, confidential services for U-M students.
U-M Collegiate Sleep Disorder Clinic
Diagnoses and treats sleep disorders.
Note: Students are responsible for payment of any fees incurred.
National Sleep Foundation
Sleep information and the latest in sleep science, plus an online sleep shop.