Andrew Clark – Staff Writer
This past Wednesday, April 26, sleep specialist Sarah Moe hosted a lecture about healthy sleep schedules and habits, and also talked about topics regarding sleep health and wellness. This is an annual event that has been put on by the Peer Assistants (PAs for short) for several years now. There were Insomnia Cookies, giveaways, and other prizes involved.
Moe talked about healthy ways to change and regulate your sleep schedule, some tips and tricks to help improve your sleep quality, and how to conquer the most daunting task of the day: getting out of bed in the morning. “[Moe] provided plenty of tips on healthy sleep habits and quality sleep and supports them with research. Some that she has recommended in the past include waking up with your first alarm and using a sleep mask,” Senior and PA Keely Schuck said.
Moe hopes to spread the much-needed message of how and why sleep is important, especially for college students. A vast percentage of people do not actually understand the importance of sleep or the consequences of not taking care of that side of your health. Moe founded Sleep Health Specialists in 2015. This is an organization that helps spread this message and conducts classes for schools and businesses worldwide. Moe hopes to show that through healthier sleep schedules and sleep lives, students will be able to learn more efficiently and effectively, and employees will be more productive.
“Sarah Moe graduated with her degree in Polysomnographic Technologies (Sleep Studies), prior to becoming a Board Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT) in 2008. She then began working overnights providing sleep studies for patients requiring sleep disorder diagnoses. Shortly after, she became an Adjunct Professor at Minneapolis College, helming the Sleep Program,” Moe’s website promoting her organization, Sleep Health Specialists, says.
Moe’s expertise in the subject shows in all of the work that she has done and continues to do. She has conducted studies and is very knowledgeable about other studies as well. All of the points that she makes in her talks and lessons are backed up by statistics, data, and other studies.
Moe also talked about how external substances affect a person’s sleeping and sleep quality. There are many factors that are thought of and taken into account when someone is taking external or illicit substances, but how they affect one’s sleep is generally almost entirely overlooked.
“Most common mental disorders, from depression and anxiety to PTSD, are associated with disturbed sleep, and substance use disorders are no exception. The relationship may be complex and bidirectional: Substance use causes sleep problems, but insomnia and insufficient sleep may also be a factor raising the risk of drug use and addiction. Recognizing the importance of this once-overlooked factor, addiction researchers are paying increased attention to sleep and sleep disturbances, and even thinking about ways to target sleep disruption in substance use disorder treatment and prevention,” the National Institute on Drug Abuse says.
Sleep is an extremely important part of everyday life, and it affects so many things, such as mental health, overall well-being, and many other aspects of one’s life. As college students, sometimes sleep is not always the biggest priority. Friends, classes, homework, and other external factors all seem to be so much more important and progressively demand more and more time. This leads to a decrease in the amount of sleep that students get as well as a decrease in the quality of sleep as life gets busier and more stressful. Talks like these are helping to educate students on the importance of sleep, and the dangers of not getting enough sleep. “The PAs are hoping that attendees can learn how they can better their sleep by becoming more knowledgeable on how various factors affect their sleep. It is important for people to come since it is a great educational opportunity for the student body, especially for them to better themselves,” Senior PA Abby Ludwig said.
Also, as mentioned above, there were free giveaways, including Insomnia Cookies and sleep eye masks. Each attendee was also entered into a raffle to win prizes such as essential oils and diffusers, a weighted blanket, pillow spray, and even a Hatch alarm clock. Prize winners were announced at the end of the event.