Health and Wellbeing

A good sleep

Too little sleep?

Lack of sleep can be the underlying cause of many problems in on top of the obvious tiredness you may be feeling. During sleep, your body repairs itself and most people need between six and eight hours sleep each night. At university, a combination of deadlines, noisy housemates and a busy social life can play havoc with a regular healthy sleeping pattern, but it’s worth making the effort to get back into one.

Getting a good night’s sleep can result in:

  • More energy & less fatigue
  • Reduced stress
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Greater productivity
  • Better problem solving ability
  • Improved appearance – healthy glowing skin
  • Improved memory
  • A lower risk of long term ill health
  • A stronger immune system

Tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine in the evening (remember some energy drinks and flu remedies contain caffeine)
  • Avoid too much alcohol as although it may initially knock you out, it may wake you up later in the night because it is a diuretic or could contain tyramine which is a stimulant.
  • Try to relax – simple breathing exercises can help. Breathe in through your nose using your abdomen, not your chest, for three seconds. Then breathe out for three seconds and then pause before starting again. Try this for ten minutes if you can.
  • Read or leave the bedroom completely to do something else. Don’t go back to bed until you are really feeling sleepy.
  • Some people find lavender oil or valerian remedies help them to sleep – see the campus pharmacy.
  • Talk to your Residential Advisor if your campus residence is too noisy or get some ear plugs.
  • Don’t eat a large meal late at night – you don’t want heartburn
  • Take regular exercise but not too close to bedtime as your body will produce stimulants. If you are injured or disabled -  you can still benefit from exercise, refer to the BBC Ouch! website.
  • Create a habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time and resist the temptation to lie in.

If you have continual problems with insomnia, you may be stressed and it is a good idea to seek further advice from the Counselling service. 

Sleepless in Brighton – these are two hourly workshops on insomnia are held by The Counselling Service on a regular basis – usually on a Wednesday afternoon – contact counsellingreception@sussex.ac.uk for details of the next one.

Too much sleep?

If you have continual overwhelming feelings of sleepiness, you should see your doctor to check whether you have a sleep disorder or some other health/mental health problem so that you can get the right help.

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