A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep, study, socialize. The hectic life of a college student is said to only allow time for only two of these three valuable things, and sleep is usually the first people sacrifice. As many as 70% of students get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, and this continued lack of sleep comes with many undesirable effects.

 Prolonged sleep deprivation stresses the body (allowing illnesses to set in), worsens your mood, and can even facilitate weight gain. Cognitive skills suffer as well. In 2000, a study showed that only moderate sleep deprivation has similar impacts on cognition as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 to 0.1. Many other studies have also shown negative correlations between frequency of all-nighters and GPA.

 So how is a college student supposed to get enough sleep while balancing everything else?  Most of the time, simple time-management skills will leave you with more time for bed. But for those who just cannot seem to get enough sleep, there are plenty of tricks to try:

  • Getting ready for bed a little earlier than you plan to fall asleep will ease your body into relaxation. Staring at a computer screen right up until you get into bed will keep your body alert and awake, and you’ll have a much harder time falling asleep.
  • Establishing your bed as an area exclusively for sleep can help you fall asleep quicker. By avoiding doing other things in bed (such as studying or Facebooking) your body will condition itself to associate your bed with sleep, making it easier to fall asleep.
  • As corny as having an established bedtime sounds, erratic sleep schedules really do disrupt your body’s normal circadian rhythms and lower the quality of sleep. Setting a regular schedule (both for going to sleep and waking up) will help you feel more rested.
  • Light is a signal that tells your body it’s time to be awake, so avoid using electronics before going to sleep.
  • Exercising, eating, and caffeine all energize the body. Leaving 3 hours before sleep free of these things will help sleep come faster.
  • Although it may seem like alcohol helps you sleep, it actually interrupts your body’s nightly sleep cycle, leaving you feeling less rested when you wake up.

 Another key factor is knowing how much sleep your body requires. Eight seems to be the magic number that people throw around, but everyone’s needs are different. Some lucky people may be perfectly rested after 6, but others might need up to 9. A simple way to figure this out is to try out a sleep schedule for several days, and then wake up without an alarm, noting the time. Your body’s circadian rhythms will let you know how much sleep you need, and adjusting your sleep patterns to match this can help improve the quality of your sleep.

Boundaries

Boundary is an important component to consent. While consent is an enthusiastic yes from everyone engaged in the sexual activity, a boundary is the limit of what an individual feels comfortable with or safe doing.
 
So to delve deeper, what is considered a boundary? The precise definition of boundary can vary depending on the person. Boundaries can consist of emotional, spiritual, sexual, and relational aspects. Once we get to a boundary, we do not cross it until we are given a yes.There is no testing the watersWe all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences, so our comfort levels might inevitably all vary and that is okay. Everyone has the right to voice their boundaries, such as what they are and not comfortable with.Knowing the limits can strengthen everyone’s feelings of safeness, which in turn can enhance the sexual arousal and experience. Boundaries can be changed, but I can only change MY boundaries and not others.
 
Sex is about connectionnot about possessive control. Remember only a yes or a very clear response of agreement is when we can test the boundaries. Anything other than that means we respect our partner(s) and wait before the boundaries until we are allowed to step over.
Giselle Liu Peer Health Educator

Giselle Liu
Peer Health Educator

Types & Healthy Relationships

Sex can be a beautiful thing. People all around express and share their sexuality differently. When it comes to sex, there are many types of relationships that can be formed. Although it is hard to make definitive categories, I will explore 6 types of relationships. There is the monogamous long term relationship, causal dating relationship, open relationship, friends with benefits relationship, sex buddies relationship, and the one night stand relationship. Regardless of who and how you share this bond with, remember the importance of establishing a healthy relationship. Healthy relationship can increase the “fun” in sex.

How to establish a healthy relationship you ask? It is all about communicating with your partner(s), which Dalia agrees as well. Honest communicating can create a safe and trustful relationship which is the way to go. Allowing your partner(s) to express how he/she/they truly feel without judgment can help him/her/them feel that they can really express their thoughts and feelings freely. Criticizing, judging, not respecting or accepting, or condoning any violence toward the decisions or boundaries made by your partner(s) would make sex a bummer. Some major red flags of unhealthy relationships might include when someone discourages, ignores, controls, or ridicule his/her/their partner(s) decisions and feelings about the situation. Know that each person is in control of their own individual body – sex is about the decisions of all parties involved and not just about one’s own. To really enrich your sexual life, practice consent and try to establish healthy relationships.

Giselle Liu Peer Health Educator

Giselle Liu
Peer Health Educator

Let’s Communicate!

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This may sound weird and embarrassing, but communication actually enhances sexual satisfaction. There is nothing weird or embarrassing about communicating before, during and after sex. It is pretty awesome. You should be able to enjoy your experience whether or not it’s your first time. Be comfortable and confident about asking the question. The question can be as simple as “do you want have sex?” or it can even be, “do you want to make lubby dubby with me?” Be personal and use your OWN language when asking. My partner and I always talk about it and always ask for consent before jumping into it. When we are in agreement, we jump into it with even more excitement. During the process we ALWAYS communicate. It’s a lot of fun because there is no awkwardness – it just feels natural. Sometimes we stop in the middle of it just to talk about how we are doing or whether or not we want to try something new. Sometimes we have random conversations about cats and life. Afterwards, when we are done we simply lay there and communicate more on what went well and what didn’t go well.

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Dalia Mendoza
Peer Health Educator

New Year’s Resolution Tip

30 days. It has already been 30 days since New Year’s Day. Shocking, I know. Time flies and so does the desire to follow through with New Year’s resolution. According to research by Scanton University, only 8% of the people achieve their New Year’s Resolution.

Life is tough. I understand the gripes and struggles of trying to achieve life goals. As our lives get busier by the moment, it gets harder by day to remember the self-note made on January 1st for the rest of the 364 days. However, this does not mean that we cannot follow through with it THIS year. Whether it is self-improvement or finishing that IKEA furniture collecting dust in the corner, here are some tips to achieve your resolution this year:

Write it down:
It is easy to forget the self-note made for the rest of the year. To fix this, make your goals tangible. Actually write it down on a piece of paper and post it somewhere visible on your wall. This will serve as a constant reminder that your resolution has yet to be completed. One of the perks to this method is the good feeling you get every time you cross an item off the list.

Simple is best:
“I am going to save the world”. Although the thought is commendable, this goal is not only extravagant but also very vague. Keep this year’s resolution simple and achievable.

Sharing is Caring:
Share your resolution with your friend. Committing to complete the resolution to your friend will be very motivating.
If one of your resolutions is to stay active and healthy, here are 7 quick workout tips that could help you achieve your goal:

  1. Run to Green Lake: The round trip is 3 miles, and it only takes about half an hour to finish the entire workout. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can run around the lake for an additional 3 miles (6 miles total), which takes about an hour total.
  2. Nike Training App: This app has 15 minute to 1-hour workouts that are EFFICIENT! Check out other fitness apps too!
  3. Bike to Gas Works: about 2 miles and lovely scenery of the Seattle skyline as you go.
  4. Cycling classes: These are often held at the IMA! Cycling is a great cardio workout.
  5. Hill repeats up and down from University Village: It is difficult but effective. Running up the hill even twice can make a really good cardio workout.
  6. The stairs to University Village: Hidden on 22nd avenue, these stairs could be an alternative to stair master.
  7. Sign up for a regular class at the IMA: It forces you to make a commitment to go a few times a week, and most of them are only half an hour long! “Ab Lab” or “ABS-olute conditioning” are both popular classes that work on strengthening your abdominal muscles.