A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 4: Stress Management and Sleep 89 There are several different methods to determine whether an individual is getting enough sleep and how much sleep one needs. The University Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Disorders has developed a sleep deprivation quiz (Maas, 1999) to determine whether an individual receives enough sleep. To take the quiz, simply answer “yes” or “no” to the following five questions based on the sleep behavior performed over the past six months. 1. Do you frequently fall asleep if given a sleep opportunity (i.e., at least 10 minutes in a cool, dark, and quiet environment)? 2. Do you frequently need an alarm clock to wake up? 3. Do you frequently catch up on sleep during weekends? 4. Do you frequently take naps during the day? 5. When you wake up, do you feel tired most mornings? If an individual answered yes to two or more of the questions, they need more sleep. To determine how much sleep one needs, first establish a regular bedtime each night to stabilize the internal circadian biological clock. Additionally, ensure that there are no disturbances that would cause one to be awakened early. Individuals typically report sleeping 10-12 hours the first night, 9-10 hours the next several nights, and then progressively less over time until their sleep schedule stabilizes. Most individuals can stabilize their sleep schedule within two weeks and report needing somewhere between 7-9 hours per night (Walters & Byl, 2013). Factors That Affect Sleep Research shows that the average college student only receives around six hours of sleep per night, which is significantly less than the average U.S. adult (Maas, 1998; Walters, 2005). Figure 4.7 compares the self-reported averages of sleep per night between college students and those reported by the average U.S. adult. According to Walters (2009), the top three factors that negatively affect sleep for college students are academics, social activities, and technology (e.g., social media, streaming video, video games).