Q & A on Sleep with Thrivewell’s Wellness Coaches

 

North Carolina State University has an abundance of great student resources. As members of the ThriveWell program, our wellness coaches are a group of qualified students that work directly with other NC State students, coaching them to live healthier and happier lifestyles. Below is a question and answer conducted with a few of the wellness coaches regarding the importance of sleep and maintaining healthy sleep schedules. Read on to discover what they have to say about your nightly snoozing.

 

Glenda Holcomb

Junior in Nutrition Science with a minor in Sports Science

 

Why did you become a wellness coach?

“I feel that I have a calling to help those in need, and this job and certification are perfect because I motivate others to reach their healthy lifestyle goals.”

How important would you rank sleep in the bigger picture of overall wellness?

“I believe wellness revolves around sleep, because that is the time that your body takes to recuperate and repair itself. Usually when college students have to make a studying sacrifice, sleep is the first thing to go and that can actually be detrimental! Studies show that we college students need around the same amount of sleep as a kindergartener, which is an average of seven to nine hours. Sleep is hard to catch up on because once it is gone, it is gone. If we try harder to get more sleep, our academics, energy level, memory and cognition will improve!”

Do you have any personal advice on how to commit to a more regular sleep schedule?

“Planning in advance and not procrastinating really helps with developing a better sleep schedule. Also utilize the power of routine. Every night repeat the same pattern and this helps your body get into a rhythm and prepare itself for bed so you can fall asleep faster.”

In your opinion, what are the biggest anti-sleep factors for college students, and how would you recommend overcoming them?

“In my opinion, time and stress are the biggest anti-sleep factors. When we procrastinate or have multiple deadlines at once, we automatically sacrifice sleep. We think that those hours sleeping could be hours used for productivity, when in actuality we are more productive when we are well-rested. Stress is one big factor that causes insomnia and restless nights. When we have all of the papers, exams, work related tasks and even relationship drama on our mind, that is what we focus on while lying in bed instead of sleeping. To overcome these barriers, students should utilize on-campus resources, like the counseling center, tutorial center, free wellness coaching or even just find a friend to hold you accountable.”

 

 

Courtney Boyce

Senior in Applied Nutrition

 

Why did you become a wellness coach?

“To help students lead happier, healthier lives and to enjoy their college experiences.”

In the bigger picture of overall wellness how important would you rank sleep?

“Essential! Of course the other elements are also important, but sleep affects every aspect of your life. Think about it like this: if you don’t get sleep, you have no motivation to study the next day, so you eat extra unhealthy snacks and get a frappuccino to get you through. Then you put your best effort into your work, but with little results. By the end of the day you realize you are too tired to work out and skip it despite the extra calories. It is also more difficult to catch up on sleep once it is lost, leading to several days of being ‘off schedule.’”

Do you have any personal advice on how to commit to a more regular sleep schedule?

“Try lying down in a quiet, dark room. Make sure you aren’t on any [electronic] devices before bed. Meditation can help calm racing thoughts, as well as chamomile tea which also can calm your mind.”

In your opinion, what are the biggest anti-sleep factors for college students, and how would you recommend overcoming them?

If anxiety keeps you up, keep a notepad by your bedside and write down what you are thinking about. If it is something you need to do in the morning, then you have a list you won’t forget about. If you believe you are suffering with depression, your best bet is to see a licensed counselor. They can give you the best advice on dealing with any issues you have and point you in the right direction. They are great resource, please use them!

 

 

Hallie Brown

Senior in Applied Nutrition

 

Why did you become a wellness coach?

“I found that nutrition and physical activity had a huge impact on my well being early on, and health coaching was my avenue to share this passion and help others!”

How important would you rank sleep in the bigger picture of overall wellness?

“Sleep is absolutely crucial to wellness. I believe this is one of the aspects that is put on the back burner, especially with college students, when it probably has the greatest impact. If a person does not get sufficient sleep, their entire day is affected. You do not have the energy to exercise, to think about what you are consuming or to focus on work or school!”

Do you have any personal advice on how to commit to a more regular sleep schedule?

“Having an overall routine has made the greatest impact on my sleep schedule! If you plan in advance when to study and when you have other events going on, you can plan when to sleep; making sleep a priority. I also have found it beneficial to schedule in extra time for studying so if I get it done in advance, I can have that time to relax or sleep!”

In your opinion, what are the biggest anti-sleep factors for college students, and how would you recommend overcoming them?  

“For college students, managing time would have to be the biggest anti-sleep factor. Schoolwork takes up a majority of our lives and on top of that many people have jobs or obligations outside of school. All of these factors take time, correlating with less time for sleep. It can be beneficial to create a support network. Having someone to hold you accountable for when you study or when you workout can get you on a healthier schedule!”

 

 

 

Have questions about how to personally improve your sleep and overall wellness?

UREC’s ThriveWell program has wellness coaches available to aid all students. Wellness coaching is a free service, providing NC State students with education, support and encouragement to develop behaviors for a healthier lifestyle.

 

To contact a wellness coach email: urec-wellnesscoaching@ncsu.edu

Learn more: https://recreation.dasa.ncsu.edu/wellness-2/wellness-coaching/