Suffering from lack of sleep?

Well, sure. Who isn't? Here are some ways to help.

What it is and why it's a problem

Sleep deprivation, as you're probably well aware, is a condition of not having enough sleep. If too much piles up, it causes daytime sleepiness, clumsiness, and sometimes weight loss or gain. Sleeping is a basic, necessary human need. Too little sleep affects the brain, leading to the above as well as physical and mental problems, injuries, and a loss of productivity (which you're probably well aware of by this point.)

Quick Statistics

  • Teens need an average of 9 1/2 hours of sleep per night to function at optimum levels
  • Only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights
  • 75% of students who say they feel unhappy, sad, or depressed don't get enough sleep
  • At least 100,000 police reported crashes each year are due to drowsy driving, resulting in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Yeah. This is a real problem.

10 Signs You May Be Sleep Deprived (as if you couldn't tell)

  • inability to handle stress
  • poor memory
  • inability to concentrate
  • increased appetite
  • vision problems
  • poor decision making
  • diminished motor skills
  • relationship troubles due to irritability or the other symptoms listed here
  • medical problems
  • mood swings
If you have several of these symptoms, you're probably sleep deprived.

How You Can Help Yourself (Or a Friend)

  • Go to bed early on weekends.
No, seriously. Sleeping late on weekends can throw off your circadian clock, making it harder to rest up on school nights.
  • Put away the electronics.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that electronics are bad and the internet is evil. But seriously, how often have you found yourself staring at the screen and wondering when it got to be 4 am? Yeah, that's what I thought. Put them away.
  • Have a bedtime routine.
It's a whole lot easier to fall asleep when you're relaxed, so maybe take a luxurious bath or shower before going to bed. Or try some easy reading (no schoolwork, mind!), or even meditation, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Reduce intense sensory activity during sleep.
Turning off the lights should be obvious, but try a sleep mask if no light is still too much light. If you need music to fall asleep, make sure it's calming and not something that gets your heart rate up, and if you don't use any, put a sleep music playlist together.
  • Don't have any caffeine for at least 4-6 hours before going to sleep.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but still. No coffee before bed.

Places to Contact:

Crouse Hospital Sleep Center

A center in the hospital devoted to sleep deficiencies and other problems with sleep. Located on the second floor of the Memorial unit.