A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 4: Stress Management and Sleep 91 5. If possible, avoid looking at bright screens for at least 2-3 hours before bed. The blue light emitted from electronics can block the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin making it harder to fall and stay asleep. Although abstinence from screen time is preferred, the use of blue light filters can help minimize the impact that electronic devices have on melatonin levels. 6. Exercise regularly. Research shows that individuals who exercise regularly go to sleep faster and sleep longer than sedentary individuals (Kubitz et al., 1996). Summary • There is a strong correlation between stress and performance and depending upon how we perceive that stress and the body’s response to it, we can either positively or negatively impact personal performance. • There are three stages to stress response: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion which collectively induce a cascade of physiological responses within the body and if not properly managed, can lead to deleterious physical and emotional harm. • The college experience is a major source of stress for most students, where the top five stressors experienced include: academics, relationships, future concerns, time management, and financial matters. • Individuals who engage in successful stress management (those who view situations optimistically, exercise regularly, eat well and receive adequate rest) are less likely to develop stress-related emotional and physiological disorders. • College students are prone to become or be diagnosed with depression which results from a combination of physiological, psychological and social factors. • Chronic (persistent) depression can lead to thoughts or attempts of suicide; however, treatment for depression can be highly effective and support is made readily available for students through various campus services. • Approximately one-third of U.S. adults receive adequate sleep which is vital for establishing balance in the body’s natural sleep-wake homeostasis and internal circadian rhythm. • Understanding how much sleep one needs and the factors which affect sleep are essential for maintaining one’s emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.