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13 Colleges Creatively Combating Student Sleep Problems

Posted on Friday September 21, 2012 by Staff Writers

College students: are you getting enough sleep? If researchers are correct, the most likely answer is no.

A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation indicates that 63% of college students don’t get enough sleep, and it comes at a great cost. A lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression, health issues, and even academic problems, as the Washington Times reports that students who get enough sleep average a full letter grade higher than those who skimp on sleeping.

Colleges have taken notice, and many are taking creative measures to battle the student sleep problem on campus. Flash naps, nap maps, cheap nap kits, and even sleep makeovers are just a few of the ways today’s colleges and universities are tackling student sleep issues head on. Read on to discover 13 of the most interesting ways colleges are taking steps to help student get a good night’s rest.

  1. Macalester College:

    Everyone has their favorite spots to catch a quick nap on campus, but Macalester College takes things a step further, creating a campus-wide “nap map” for students. This map offers a guide to the best spots on campus to catch some shut-eye, listing the pros and cons of each site.

  2. University of Georgia:

    At the University of Georgia, the University Health Center has started a “Let the Bulldawg Sleep!” campaign, complete with photos of snoozing bulldog mascots. In this campaign, the health center offers lots of useful information through the center’s website. Plus, the center created images that can be distributed around campus and online with short tips for getting more sleep on campus.

  3. Hastings College:

    Hastings College in Nebraska might be a small campus, but they’re big on combating poor sleep habits. To raise awareness about the need for healthy sleep, student peer educators attract attention by dressing in pajamas and sitting on a bed in the middle of the student union to talk about sleep with students as they go about their days. The college even hands out earplugs by the thousands to help students tune out and get to sleep.

  4. University of Arizona:

    To combat sleeping problems at the University of Arizona, the campus health service has created a campuswide media intervention, complete with a custom “snoozeletter” email blast. The health media center has created several “sleep on it” ads that hang up around campus, plus a regular edition of the Go to Bed Snoozeletter that’s distributed to students.

  5. Harvard University:

    If you’re in need of a better sleep situation at Harvard University, you can get a “sleep makeover” from the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine. The Division of Sleep Medicine shares sleep success stories, including night shift nurse Barbara‘s total sleep makeover.

  6. University of California, Davis:

    If you’re in need of a quick nap and find yourself unprepared at UC Davis, have no fear: the campus offers “nap kits” for sale. At a low cost of $2.75, students can pick up earplugs, an eye mask, and a tip card for getting a good nap with instructions for finding additional resources. The school even takes advantage of National Sleep Awareness Week, using Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about healthy sleep. Like Macalester College, UC Davis also has a “nap map,” pointing out the best places to snooze on campus that’s even rated and evaluated by students.

  7. University of Louisville:

    The University of Louisville is going to great lengths to raise awareness about the need for better sleep on campus, creating a campus wide “flash nap.” This flash nap is a lot like a flash mob, except instead of dancing, students will be sleeping.

  8. College of the Holy Cross:

    Students at the College of the Holy Cross are taking sleep education off campus. Through psychology courses, students are able to participate in children’s sleep education programs, sharing bedtime and sleep essentials with at-risk school-aged children as “sleeper teachers.”

  9. Stanford University:

    At Stanford University, students can put a new spin on sleep with the Refresh self-help program. Created by Stanford University’s Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Department, the self-help PDF program allows students to learn about therapy strategies that treat insomnia in college students, teaching skills and schedule modifications that make it easier for students to have better sleep hygiene.

  10. University of Delaware:

    Do you know how to take a great nap? At the University of Delaware, you can actually take a class on napping to make sure that you know exactly how to catch a healthy snooze. These napping classes have been an effective way for the university to teach students how to best maximize their sleep.

  11. University of Cincinnati:

    A new study at the University of Cincinnati has indicated that only 25% of students surveyed are getting adequate sleep. That’s why the university has identified sleep as an important area of concern. To combat the campus sleep problem, the University of Cincinnati has taken a holistic approach, creating a stress management class for students that teaches not just about getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night, but how to manage stress throughout the day for a better night’s sleep.

  12. Duke University:

    Students who struggle to make it out of bed and into early classes just might want to consider Duke University. The school has eliminated all 8 a.m. classes in an effort to help sleep-deprived students on campus. Instead, most classes are squeezed in between more reasonable times of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and some starting at a slightly more reasonable 8:30 a.m.

  13. Cornell University:

    Cornell University takes a scientific approach to promoting sleep on campus, sharing a sleep-focused version of introductory psychology. In this class, students are confronted with photos, hard data, and experiments that show the effect of sleep deprivation on college students. They’ve found that it’s been their most effective way to change behavior. Even the basketball coach has caught on, ending early morning practices, and not-so-conincidentally advancing the team to the NCAA Sweet 16 that next year.