Don’t look away from the screen like I’m not talking to you. Yes you, reader whose face is slightly blue from the screen reflecting from your radiant skin. It’s time to admit that you have a problem along with the rest of the Northwest.
Diagnosis: Caffeine Junkie.
Addiction: Mass amounts of No-Fat Caramel Lattes, and Extra Espresso Shots fed scolding hot directly into your buccal cavity.
I know this may seem like a way to wake yourself up, but a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (click here for the full article) has recently linked coffee, along with several others, as hindrances of your regular sleep patterns. Here are few questions for you.
Do you find yourself sleepy after a long nights rest? This is probably because even though you slept you did not receive adequate REM or deep sleep in the night because you were too busy thinking of that paper due tomorrow, or that assignment at work.
Or, can you find that you can sleep anywhere at anytime? No, you are not just a very talented individual, you are sleep deprived. This can not only make you yawn endlessly throughout the day, leaving your mouth open to catch flies and airborne pathogens along with other things, but sleep deprivation has been proven to decrease college student GPA, your level of work performance, and make you hungrier and feel less full.
So what can you do to help get a better deeper sleep?
1. Reduce noise, light, and disruptive behaviors before bed. That way there’s nothing disturbing you before bed.
2. Have a “power down” hour before bed, removing things like your cell phone, blackberry, e-mail and Internet before bed. This stops your brain and slows it down before bed.
3. Create a “worry Journal” and when you can’t get to sleep write everything that you are stressed about at the time. This way all of your problems are on that paper, and not in your head.
4. Read a book. If you are really trying to get to bed, read a non-exhilarating book, say Fluid Mechanics or Anna Karenina, and it’ll put you right to bed.
So before you pick up that next coffee, think about your sleep and maybe go for a decaf. You’ll think about the wonderful sleep you had, before you started balding or going through menopause because your deep sleep only goes downhill as you get older.
Written by Marvin Dumas, Class of 2011