Mental Health Tips of the Month

Sleep Well; Feel Well

July 2014

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and overall well-being. For some people sleep comes easy, and for others, it is more difficult and can seem impossible at times with tossing and turning being the norm. During certain times such as midterms, finals and breaks from school, the temptation can be high to stay up late at night and sacrifice hours of sleep, but try to resist doing this as the consequences can be serious.

How much sleep do we need?

Most adults need somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep per night. Different people need different amount of sleep to feel rested.

Consequences of Sleep Loss

  • Constant tiredness, from mild to severe
  • Irritability, temper, and moodiness
  • Loss of concentration and coordination
  • Habitually using sleep aids
  • Use of stimulants (E.g. Coffee and energy drinks)

Benefits of Good Sleep

  • Energy
  • Improved mood and temper
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased concentration and focus

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Sleep only as much as you need to feel refreshed during the following day.
  • Get up at the same time each day, 7 days a week. This helps to set your "biological clock".
  • Cut down on all caffeine products. Caffeinated beverages and foods (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) can cause difficulty falling asleep, awakenings during the night, and shallow sleep.
  • Try to avoid naps
  • Use the bedroom only for sleeping. This will help condition your brain to see bed as the place for sleeping.
  • Do not TRY to fall asleep. This only makes the problem worse. Instead, do something different like listening to music or reading a book.

If you would like to learn more about sleep hygiene, please call CAPS to schedule an initial consultation appointment to discuss your concerns with a therapist on staff. If you are experiencing a crisis situation and need to speak with someone immediately, please contact CAPS during business hours, and we will be happy to assist you. After business hours or when CAPS is closed, you may contact: (1) MHMRA at (713) 970-7000, (2) Crisis Intervention of Houston at (713) HOTLINE (468-5463), or (3) the University of Houston Department of Public Safety at (713) 743-3333 and ask to speak to the clinician on-call.