Sleep is a critical factor in NYU students’ academic success and general wellbeing. NYU students typically have strenuous schedules replete with class, homework, part-time jobs, extracurricular clubs and activities, in addition to all of the exciting events the surrounding city has to offer. However with these opportunities and responsibilities, students often do not get adequate sleep. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation include decreased cognitive function, memory, performance and alertness. In the long term, sleep deprivation can be associated with obesity, mental and physical health impairments, and attention deficit disorder.1
This page is intended to be a resource containing suggestions for what you can do to help NYU students get adequate sleep and decrease consequences from sleep difficulties.
• Refer students who routinely appear sleep deprived to the Sleep Toolkit, offered through Counseling and Wellness Services. Toolkits are two-part workshops designed to help students develop and practice new skills to enhance personal, academic and social well-being.
• When teaching an evening class, end the class with a form of meditation or another sleep-promoting exercise. Sleep-promoting behaviors may significantly improve sleep habits and reduce sleep difficulties among students.22 Visit the NYU Relaxation Oasis for suggested exercises.
• Encourage your students to drink caffeine-free beverages at night. Avoiding excessive caffeine, especially close to bedtime, is an example of an evidence-based sleep hygiene measure which can improve students’ ability to get an adequate nights sleep.22,23
• Advise your students to create a schedule in order to prioritize tasks. Poor planning and excessive stress are common causes of inadequate sleep.Students who see themselves as being in control of their time, a feature indicative of good time management, report experiencing less negative characteristics related to stress.24 Practice with time management can lead to better study habits and sleep schedules during busy times in the semester.
• Periodically remind your students of upcoming deadlines. Encouraging your students to begin projects and studying for exams earlier may help them avoid late night cram sessions and establish healthier sleep habits. Pulling all-nighters compromises student (overall) sleep and makes it difficult to reach full academic potential.