Sleep Habits

Part 1 - Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene allows your body and mind to stay healthy and well-rested. Having “bed-time rituals” which are things you do every night just before going to bed, help to keep a daily routine to regulate your body’s cycle.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

These are some of the main categories for the causes of sleep deprivation. For some, a mixture of these is possible.

Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is one of the main causes. This includes eating an unbalanced or poor diet and consuming alcoholic drinks regularly or excessively. Drinking a lot of caffeine leads to the inability to sleep well. Working late night shifts throws off the internal clock; the body has a more difficult time sleeping with light. Normal circadian patterns are altered when you can't sleep during the night.
Those unsure of what is behind their sleep deprivation should keep a sleep journal. Record what you ate, what you did and what happened when you tried to go to sleep each day. Over a period of weeks or a month, patterns develop showing you what could be behind your sleep deprivation.

medical.jpg Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions lead to sleep deprivation. This can be a symptom of a much larger problem. These medical conditions can affect both your emotional state and physical state, causing deprivation indirectly.
Severe asthma can trigger attacks during the evening, keeping you from regular sleep. Other medical conditions can be physiological, such as depression. Doctors have also found post traumatic stress disorder is the cause of insomnia in affected people.

Other Common causes of sleep deprivation:

  • Stresses from daily life
  • Working or playing instead of sleeping
  • Medical/mental conditions that disturb our sleep cycle

Few Consequences of Sleep Deprivation: In the short term:

  • Decreased Performance and Alertness: Sleep deprivation causes significant reductions in performance and alertness. Even by reducing your nighttime sleep by an hour and a half can result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.
  • Memory and Cognitive Impairment: With the decreased alertness and increase in daytime sleepiness, you memory and cognitive ability can be impaired. This is your ability to think and process information.
  • Poor Quality of Life: With the decreased alertness, you might be unable to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like doing homework, reading a book, watching a movie etc.

Foods That Help You Sleep

In terms of helping you sleep there are some foods you should avoid, and some that will help you sleep. Avoid heavy foods or spicy foods. Or any foods you know that may cause heartburn, making it difficult for you to sleep at night. Caffeine should be limited. A few cups of coffee in the morning are fine, but if you’re drinking a lot of coffee or drinking it at night it will affect your sleep habits and cause restlessness and anxiety.

external image A_small_cup_of_coffee.jpg

Eat cherries. Not only are they rich in vitamins, cherries contain melatonin, a substance also found in the human body that helps regulate sleep. Eating fresh or dried cherries before you go to bed at night may help you sleep better.

Enjoy a light bedtime snack.
Choose carbohydrates and dairy products, like a small bowl of whole grain cereal and non-fat milk. Carbohydrates make it easier to fall sleep. Dairy products contain tryptophan, which promotes sleep. Other foods that contain tryptophan are bananas, oats, and honey.


Avoid eating excessive fats. People who eat large amounts of fat may also have more difficulty sleeping. Be sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids each day, however, because eicosapentaenoic acid (one type of omega-3 found in fish, especially tuna, salmon and trout) has a role in sleep induction in your brain.

-- "Foods that help you sleep" Contributed by Celest =)

Some tips to get enough sleep:

  • Sleep is as important as food and air. Make it a priority to get enough sleep every night.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine from coffee or soft drinks.
  • Use the bed only for sleeping.
  • Avoid any bright light around the house before bed.
  • Don't stress if you feel you are not getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid exercise near bedtime.
  • Don't go to bed hungry. Have a good meal a few hours before you go to bed.
  • Bedtime routines are helpful for good sleep. Brushing teeth, reading a book etc.
  • Keep your bedroom at comfortable temperature.
  • Keep a regular bedtime schedule. This includes even on weekends. This helps to develop a relaxing bedtime routine.

Developing a relaxing bedtime routine

A regular, relaxing routine before bed sends a signal to your brain that it is time to hit the sheets. This helps to fall asleep easier.
Begin by keeping a consistent bedtime as much as possible. Come up with the most suitable way that helps to relax you. E.g. a warm bath, light music or reading.Some relaxation techniques such as yoga, or muscle relaxation help to relieve anxiety and to help fall asleep. Avoid bright light or activities which cause stress and anxiety, for a better sleep.


A practice, known as "power-nap", is sometimes taken by those who have very little time for sleep and rest. A normal routine of a power-nap is to border between sleep and conciousness for 15 minutes. Power-napping is best done while lying down on some flat and soft surface. Studies had shown that power-napping is very efficient and can motivate and keep a person awake for long periods of time. Although, power-napping is just an alternative method for getting enough rest, and should only be taken when the other option of getting a full night's sleep is unavaliable.

--Contributed by Jonathan Tong



2nd Nov
Research topics, select a topic and find good websites.
9th Nov
Create a Plan (Part 3)
Work on Part 1.
16th Nov
Work on Part 1.
23rd Nov
Work on and finish Part 1
30th Nov
Work on and finish Part 2 (Contributions)
7th Dec
14th Dec
Relax because it’s OVERRRRR!

Principles for setting Goals

Desire - I will create a nice attractive page that others will find useful.
Written - My goal and plan have been written and recorded in this page.
Dealing with resistance - I will work at home if any computer problems occur at school.
Deadline - I will meet my deadline December 14th with no difficulties.
Planning - I will follow the plan I have made for myself and use my time in class wisely and accordingly.
Mental Picture - I want my site to look attractive and informative.
Persistence - I will work hard throughout lessons and work at home, if necessary.

Smart Goals

Specific - My task, my website must be specific to what is asked for. YES
Measured - Know when I have reached my goal and if not, how much more work needs to be done. YES
Agreed - My teacher and myself agree to this completion of this goal. YES
Realistic - My goal is achievable within the time limit and resources available. YES
Time-phased - I will follow my timeline and use time wisely to achieve my goal. YES

YES, I have met my goals.

Bibliography (Accessed 16th Nov) (Accessed 16th Nov) (Accessed 13th Dec)

Student (Self) Evaluation - At the end of the project, students must assess their own work and post results in the DISCUSSION section.
25% = Part 1 = Information and bibliography = 25
25% = Part 2 = Contributions and Comments = 20
25% = Part 3 = Planning = 25
25% = Layout, appearance and and design = 20