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Sleep

Student falls asleep while studying.

Our Goal

To promote healthy sleep and rest strategies so students can rejuvanate their mind and body and perform at their peak academically.

Almost a quarter of UW students experience sleep difficulties that impede their academic performance (NCHA, Spring 2021).

Benefits of Sleep

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Getting quality sleep can make a big difference in your life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good "sleep hygiene."

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day.

64.8% of UW students reported sleeping an average of 7-9 hours on weeknights, however, 75.6% of UW students reported feeling tired or sleepy during the day for 3 or more days of the week (NCHA, Spring 2021). Why is this? Well, it’s about the quality of sleep rather than quantity.

Below are some tips for improving your sleep hygiene. Figure out which ones work for you and feel free to adapt these to fit your circumstances.

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

  2. Create a bedtime routine. A relaxing bedtime routine right before sleep helps the body recognize bedtime is approaching. Wind down for at least 30 minutes. The last action of your routine should be laying your head on your pillow and trying to fall asleep.

  3. Avoid electronics. Electronics emit blue light which tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime and will slow your body’s melatonin production, which is the chemical in your brain that induces sleep. If you cannot stay off your phone before bed, at least turn on the red-light/night filter to decrease the amount of blue light your phone gives off.

  4. Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Try to exercise at least three hours before you go to bed, as exercising just before bedtime can actually make it harder to sleep.

  5. Have a light snack. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you're still hungry. Non-caffeinated herbal teas can also help calm the body, try tea with chamomile or lavender in it.

  6. Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep: cool, dark, and quiet. Your bedroom should be cool--between 60 and 67 degrees, free from any noise that can disturb your sleep, and should be free from any light.

  7. Only use your bed for its intended purposes. Sleep and sex. Using your bed for other things, like working on your homework, can create stressful mental connections with your bed which can negatively impact your quality of sleep.

  8. Your bedding matters. Make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive for pain-free sleep. Your sheets and blankets are also important as they’re the first thing you touch when getting into bed. Make it comfy and inviting!

  9. Catch some rays. Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. Natural light can help keep your circadian rhythms in check.

  10. Avoid substances later in the evening. Alcohol, drugs (including weed), cigarettes, and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Really, using any substance to artificially alter your energy levels (up or down) can have negative effects on your natural sleep cycle. 

Can't Fall Asleep?

Still Tired?

Naps can offer an energy boost during the day, however, they should be short and before 2:00 pm to avoid disrupting your sleep at night. A 10-20 minute nap is reported to be the best nap duration so you do not enter slow-wave sleep which when disrupted can make you feel groggy.

  • But don’t oversleep! Oversleeping is sleeping more than 9 hours in a 24-hour period and can worsen inflammation in the body, decrease your immune function, and can lead to chronic diseases.

  • You may try avoiding naps if you have a hard time falling asleep at night.

  • To nap or not to nap? Take the quiz

Wellness Center Sleep Workshop

How to Improve Your Sleep – And Your Life

This workshop is less a discussion of good sleep habits and more an exercise in learning to change behaviors surrounding sleep habits. The workshop begins with a discussion of practical suggestions for getting better sleep which leads into a pen-and-paper exercise that addresses barriers you might face in trying to change your habits, as well as your reasons for wanting to change them. Whether you don't know where to start in getting better sleep or you've tried multiple times to adopt better habits, this workshop will be a valuable experience in your journey to be healthy and well-rested. Register for our next sleep workshop.


 

Contact Us

Campus Recreation

Wellness Center

Half Acre Gym, Rm. 107

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-9355

Fax: 307-766-6720

Email: wellness@uwyo.edu

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