UC Riverside Students Encouraged to “Choose to Snooze”

Week-long campaign beginning March 5 to promote the health benefits of sleep

Banner for UCR Sleep Nap Campaign

The logo for the UCR Sleep/Nap Campaign

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — For some, college life is synonymous with days full of classes, long nights of studying and the occasional party. Sleep? Sleep is an afterthought. But a week-long campaign aimed at tired University of California, Riverside students is looking to change that mindset by encouraging them to make sleep a priority.

Running March 5-11, UCR’s Sleep/Nap Campaign coincides with National Sleep Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation. The program falls during the ninth week of UCR’s Winter Quarter, a time where students are ramping up their studying in preparation for final exams.

“Students who don’t get enough rest often feel tired, stressed and sluggish and have difficulty focusing,” said Devon Sakamoto, coordinator of health education initiatives for The Well. “Students are often amazed at how much better they feel and perform when they are well rested.”

Research by the National Sleep Foundation shows that teenagers need between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep per night, while adults 18 and over need between seven and nine hours. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in February 2010 revealed that over 60% of the college students surveyed were categorized as poor-quality sleepers, with emotional and academic stress negatively impacting sleep. Students who were considered poor-quality sleepers reported suffering more physical and psychological health problems than good-quality sleepers.

“There is a lack of knowledge about the benefits of sleep for stress and performance,” said UCR Professor of Psychology Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “Sleep is the first thing to go when people get stressed, but unfortunately it is also the best antidote to stress.”

Mednick will present a sleep seminar for graduate and international students on Wednesday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m. in HUB 260. She will discuss her research on the benefits getting a good night’s sleep and try to break some of the negative stereotypes that surround the idea of a midday nap.

“That is one reason we are doing this research, to show through scientific discovery that sleep is important,” she said.

Also scheduled for Wednesday is the No Stress Sleep Fest, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bell Tower. The festival will feature helpful resources about sleeping, napping and managing stress, as well as free food, massages, stress relief and other “soothing activities.”

“We will have nap chairs where students can relax and take a nap,” Sakamoto said.

On Friday, March 9, “Nap-Ins” will be held at in the Associated Students Program Board Offices in HUB 111, HUB 260, and the International Education Center in University Village Suite 204. Students can check in at one of the three napping spaces between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Throughout the week, students will be able to pick up a free nap kit, featuring an eye mask, earplugs and a tip-sheet with information about napping.

The Sleep/Nap Campaign is sponsored by UCR’s Student Wellness Partners, including the Counseling Center, International Education Center, Campus Health Center, Student Recreation Center, The Well, The Dean of Students and Housing, Dining & Residential Services.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

RSVP for Sleep Seminar
E-mail: serenity.dellaporta@email.ucr.edu

Devon Sakamoto
Tel: (951) 827-2874
E-mail: devon.sakamoto@ucr.edu

Sara C. Mednick
E-mail: smednick@ucr.edu

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