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Behavior Modification Getting Some Shut Eye

2464 words - 10 pages

As my time in college has progressed, I have gotten less sleep each year. Back in high school and as I entered my first year in college, I had no problem sleeping and getting to bed in time to have a relaxing sleep. I was not perfect in my sleeping habits, but I always managed to get about five to six hours each night. I was usually in bed by around midnight or one in the morning. That amount of sleep was not the greatest amount, but it was more than most of my friends and family back home. However, as I furthered myself in my academic career and got more involved on campus, I have noticed issues sleeping and going to bed at a decent hour. Consequently, I have had trouble concentrating, feeling in good health, and feel exhausted as begin and end my day. I am one of the 35-40% of people who feel excessive drowsiness during the day (Ferracioli-Oda). Even when I do get enough sleep, I have to sacrifice half of my day, because I sleep in way too late, making me feel wide awake when it comes time for bed the next night. In addition, this lack of sleep often prevents me from feeling the need to exercise because I do not have the energy to run, which is my favorite activity. Therefore, I believe in order to increase my overall feeling of health and energy, my goal is to increase my deeply lacking amount of sleep until I am back at a healthy level each night.
Major changes in habits are extremely hard to break, especially for me. I have tried working on this behavior for the last few months. I usually end of making up reasons to stay awake at night, whether for friends, fun, or entertainment: I always have an excuse. This desire or feeling that staying awake has become natural to my body. I will have to start planning and going through my sleep routine earlier in the evening in order to make my body feel more accustomed to going to sleep earlier. Making my sleep prep start earlier will help mentally and psychologically cue my body sleep cycle. Things such as brushing my teeth and putting my things away at night will most likely help my body begin to relax and start the necessary process for sleep to begin. In addition, I will also dim the lights in my room and relax earlier in the evening. This will help get my mind in the right state as I prepare for bed. This technique sin called visualization and through systematic relaxing of themselves felt they created an overall safer environment, thus relaxing them and making it easier to sleep (Hoffart). Too often, when I start getting ready for bed, I interrupt by texting, emailing, or doing something on my computer or phone instead of trying to relax and prepare myself for bed. This interruption is detrimental in terms of trying to go to bed. This disruption forces me to redo the cycle or reawakens me. It is also disruptive because it delays my sleep time for another while, causing me to sleep later at night. In addition, sometimes, without realizing it, I stay up way past when I should be in bed hanging...

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