College of Education Self-Care

  • Participants at the self-care drum session
  • Sunset over water
  • Blue lens flares
  • Zen garden with rocks
  • Sunset over hills
  • Spiral staircase
  • Path through trees with autumn leaves

Self-care: and sleep-care

May 24, 2021

Dear College of Education Community,

Sleep is one of the most important ways we can care for ourselves. Are you tired? You are coming to the end of one of the most challenging academic years ever, and it’s time to revisit the importance of getting enough sleep. The Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health. Fewer than 7 hours can lead to: weight gain/obesity; health issues like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke; mental health issues; Impaired immune function; Increased pain; Impaired performance; Increased work errors; more auto accidents. Lisa Cromer, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Tulsa, recently presented on Sleep-Care for Self-Care. Her research in this area indicates the following guidelines for good sleep.

For the best sleep, it is recommended to avoid:

  • Caffeine (after 2pm)
  • Alcohol prior to bedtime
  • Exercise too late at night (heats up body)
  • Screens (blue or white light)
  • Stimulation

We can take control of our sleep environment by providing:

  • Soothing sounds: fans or an APP like Rain
  • Darkness: blackout curtains or a sleep mask
  • Keeping the phone 6’ away and on airplane mode
  • Keeping the temperature around 67 degrees
  • Having a comfortable bed: layers rather than heavy bedding
  • Removing TVs in the bedroom (or equivalent)

In addition, it is recommended that we engage in time management for adequate sleep:

  • Study or do research (read those manuals) at night before bed
  • Write papers or reports in the daytime
  • Keep circadian rhythms constant, instead of binge-watching TV at night, keep bedtime consistent and catch up on a free day
  • Make a commitment to not check email after a certain time of night (e.g., 9 p.m.)
  • If you need to cut sleep short, do it on the morning side rather than the late side; you’ll be fresher after a sleep, and more time efficient due to deadlines

Want to see how well you are currently sleeping? To see what your sleep score is go to's%20your%20sleep%20score%20quiz.pdf?ver=2021-05-18-134625-950

(Adapted from: Buysse, Daniel J., Reynolds, Charles F., Monk, Timothy H., & Berman, Susan R. (1989). The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: A new instrument for psychiatric practice and research. Psychiatry Research, 28(2), 193-213. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(89)90047-4.)

For a list of other self-care options, please see our COE self-care website for resources for faculty, staff, students, and the community at:

You have given so much this year and now it’s time to rest. Go get some good sleep!