Page 1

May 2010


LETTER from the editors

In this edition we have so many exciting pieces on the importance of sleep and why and what you should know about sleep debt. From eye-catching advertisements to inspirational stories to fun quizzes this issue promises to be both informative and interesting. We would like to continue Dr. Dement’s legacy as “crusaders” for more education about sleep. It is vitally significant in all of our lives and determines how alert and productive we are, whether at school or work. We would like to pass on the crucial information that so many injuries and deaths could be prevented with more knowledge about the importance of sleep. We are excited about this volume and we hope you enjoy it as well as learn something you did not know before!


Editors-in-Chief Angela Kwok Stephanie Liou Peri Unver Katie Wu



Table of Contents FEATURE ARTICLE Breaking the Habit: Sleep Debt & Its Consequences


Sleep Challenge: Data & Analysis


DORM DISCUSSION From the Mouths of Sleepers in Debt


TIPS & INSERTS Recipe for A Good Night’s Sleep


Sleep Debt: Why and What You Should Know








May 2010


Breaking the Habit Sleep Debt & Its Consequences

Stephanie Liou, Peri Unver, Katie Wu, and Angela Kwok open one of their presentation’s most important take-home points with William Dement’s infamous slogan, “Drowsiness is Red Alert!” Image courtesy of Bryce Cronkite-Ratcliff

On Tuesday night, the Freshman-Sophomore College (FroSoCo) residents had the special opportunity to participate in one of the very first Sleep Talks at FroSoCo about sleep debt. The Sleep Talk was hosted by four residents who were also students of Dr. William Dement’s renowned class at Stanford, Sleep and Dreams. Angela Kwok, Stephanie Liou, Peri Unver, and Katie Wu led an informative presentation on sleep debt and presented the results of the Sleep Challenge. 4


As residents walked into Schiff Lounge, the venue for the event, they received pamphlets on sleep debt that focused on why and what you should know about sleep debt. While the 13 participants enjoyed snacks to boost their energy levels, they listened closely to what the four students had to say about sleep debt. The presentation covered multiple aspects of sleep debt, including its definition, consequences, and dangers. The dangers of drowsy driving and how to resolve such a situation

with coffee and/or a nap and more effectively, driving with another person during optimal alertness hours were included in the presentation. One motto that was repeated several times, including in their PowerPoint presentation, was “Drowsiness is Red Alert.” The meaning behind the statement is particularly important in considering drowsy driving. The importance of sleep was emphasized in the presentation. The participants were particularly interested in how

they could improve their own sleep habits, which were also a major part of the Sleep Talk. Angela, Stephanie, Peri, and Katie gave tips about napping and sleep hygiene. The tips on sleep hygiene included going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day and sleeping in a comfortable environment. Stephanie suggested to the participants that they should leave their IHUM reading to the time before they go to bed if they have difficulty sleeping. Angela showed them the benefits of doing something arousing after waking up, such as taking a cold shower or going to breakfast and talking to people. Katie presented an anecdote about how naps helped her to get through the day after a near all-nighter. In response to a participant’s question about drinking coffee, Peri talked about the use of caffeine as a last resort, but how it can be helpful in situations

Each group member took care to properly define and caution against sleep debt, the main topic of the evening. Peri compared the state of carrying a large sleep debt to lugging around a sack of rocks. Image courtesy of Bryce Cronkite-Ratcliff

when you absolutely need to stay awake, as when driving. Following the question and answer discussion period, with many interesting questions asked

by the captivated residents, the results of the FroSoCo Sleep Challenge were announced. In response to the results on the average hours of sleep, the participants were a bit surprised to find that everyone had an average below 7 hours of sleep. This led to another round of discussion, this time about your daily sleep requirement. The presenters explained that each person’s sleep need is different, but for many people, it is determined to be around 8 to 8.5 hours. Therefore, it is very possible that 99% of Stanford students are sleep deprived, as suggested by Dr. William Dement in one of his Sleep and Dreams lectures. One participant asked how she Nearly three dozen members of both Adams and Schiff, the houses could determine her own daily of Freshman-Sophomore College, attended the presentation to learn sleep requirement. In response to about sleep debt and how to better maintain sleep hygiene. her question, Katie explained that Image courtesy of Bryce Cronkite-Ratcliff May 2010


it is a long process that involves allowing yourself to sleep for as much as you want each day without anything else to do. At first, you may sleep for numerous hours to make up your sleep debt, but eventually the hours you sleep for will level off. Stephanie went on to say that after sleeping your daily sleep requirement, you should not need an alarm to wake you up and that you should not feel tired after waking up, an important lesson that Stephanie learned from Sleep and Dreams. The presentation ended with the presenters encouraging the residents to fill out the small “Goals for Yourself ” portion of the pamphlet that they each received. In just a few lines of

setting a time for going to bed and waking up that allows for your estimated daily sleep requirement and methods to achieve them can help the residents to gain more from sleeping. In a response to a question about keeping your own sleep journal, Angela told about her own experience from keeping a sleep journal for the class. At the beginning of the quarter, her sleep schedule fluctuated significantly, with different times for going to bed and waking up. From consciously thinking about her sleeping schedule while recording her hours in her sleep journal, her sleep schedule began to level out and become more regular. The presentation ended with

the residents having gained ideas on how to improve their own sleep habits and schedules. With the lack of education on sleep in the classroom, these residents are probably more educated in sleep than the majority of the population. After the presentation, a resident name John Bolander, said that the “little pamphlet explains so much about me because of my sleep debt. My irritable mood, my difficulty remembering things, my unstable mood…” Angela, Stephanie, Peri, and Katie were glad to hear that the residents found their presentation and pamphlet about sleep debt valuable and applicable to their own lives.

The group announces the top three “Sleepers” in their challenge, but caution the audience to take the news with a grain of salt: not one participant had an average of over 8 hours a night. Image courtesy of Bryce Cronkite-Ratcliff 6


May 2010


sleep challenge:

Data & Analysis

The students in Freshman-Sophomore College (FroSoCo), located on the West side of the Stanford University campus, were asked to participate in a Sleep Challenge. In order to participate, the student had to complete a twoweek sleep journal with the number of hours slept each night (including naps), minutes of grogginess after waking each day, and the overall daily feeling on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the highest. A shortened and simplified version of the sleep journals for the Sleep and Dreams class, taught by Dr. William C. Dement were used for the challenge. The challenge lasted from April 26 to May 9, 2010. Of approximately 180 students in the FroSoCo residence, there were 21 participants. The goal of the challenge was for students to get as much sleep as they could, hopefully to meet their daily sleep requirement and not accumulate any sleep debt.



The averages and modes of each variable are: • Hours of Sleep: Average - 6.647 hours; Mode - 6 to 6.5 hours • Grogginess: Average - 18.684 minutes; Mode - 10 to 15 minutes • Overall Daily Feeling: Average - 6.760; Mode - 7 to 8 Attached are graphical summaries of the data submitted in all the participants’ sleep journals.

May 2010


The data supports the notion that 99% or 100% of Stanford students are sleep deprived, based on a daily sleep need of approximately 8 hours. The duration of grogginess after awakening was reasonable for the participants. In addition, Stanford students seem to generally be happy and have a good feeling, despite sleep deprivation, as the mode for the participants was 7 or 8 on a scale of 10. A fairly strong negative correlation can also be seen between number of hours of sleep and duration of grogginess in case studies for participants. This shows that having a lower sleep debt may make you less tired and more attentive in the morning. Attached are two examples:



A slight positive correlation can also be seen between number of hours of sleep and daily overall feeling in case studies for participants. This shows that having a lower sleep debt may result in a better overall feeling during the day. Below are two examples:

The winners of the challenge, based on the highest numbers of average hours of sleep, are: • 1st place: Shannon Wong with 7.857 hours • 2nd place: Cory Weinstein with 7.707 hours • 3rd place: Chris O’Brien with 7.671 hours The 1st place winner, Shannon Wong, was awarded with a Jamba Juice gift card.

May 2010





good night’s sleep 1 tablespoon of relaxing pajamas 2 pinches of a comfortable bed ½ teaspoon of a calm mind washed away of worry ¾ cup of a temperature, not too hot or too cold 3 handfuls of darkness or a night light, soothing sounds or quietness

May 2010


Dorm Discussion: from the mouths of sleepers in debt “In general, I haven’t been getting as much sleep this quarter. It’s making me

really tired and I’ve been feeling more like an emotional rollercoaster. think it’s actually caused by my

lack of

I sleep. Last week, I decided I would

sleep: I slept for over 8 hours and I felt so

good afterwards.”

- Irteza Binte-Farid “I definitely had one week where I was getting consecutively between 3

and 4 hours of sleep for about 4 or 5 days. I almost had a nervous breakdown – it was awful. I’ve kind of learned to sleep more during the weeks that I don’t have as much to do, so at least I can catch up on sleep and get mentally and physically healthier.”

- Angela Kwok current Sleep & Dreams student

I’ve learned from the masters, like my dog. We just sleep all the time. I learned a lot of things to benefit me sleep-wise in the past two weeks… but sometimes I make sacrifices to have fun. We as a Stanford community can’t always abide by the rules of sleep – there’s too much to do, and we’re only alive once!”

- Cory Weinstein second-place Sleep Challenge winner

I think sleep debt is sort of like a bad drug that impairs your ability to do things intelligently. But the difference is, it’s not addictive: there’s

no real good reason to do it.

I’m really curious to see what will happen now once I hopefully eliminate my sleep debt, maybe this summer. Now I’m going to be conscious about that.



- Bryce Cronkite-Ratcliff

May 2010


true or false? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.


A big lunch can make you drowsy. Much is known about the importance of sleep in the U.S. A sleepy driver can be more dangerous than a drunk driver. Sleep is not as important as nutrition and physical fitness in the triumvate of health. The brain is not active during the sleeping state. All wakefulness is a state of sleep deprivation. The only way to significantly reduce sleep debt is to sleep and make up the hours of sleep lost. Having a regular bedtime does not matter. Having good sleep hygiene is not essential to being alert and productive during the day. The cycle of earth with light and darkness determines our pattern of sleep. A lack of sleep can cause accidents, injuries, and deaths. Bonus: Drowsiness is Red Alert!


ACROSS 2. Range of very short sleep tendencies and strong sleep tendency. 4. Length of time it takes for person to go from wakefulness to state of sleep. 12. Times of the day when we feel more alert. 13. Awake and active in the daytime. 14. Besides being a teacher, Dr. Dement has said he is this. 15. Nutrition, physical fitness, and sleep.

c r o s s w o r d

DOWN 1. A test that measures the speed of falling asleep. 3. A large one leads to a lack of alertness during the day. 5. Ongoing interaction between clock-dependent alerting and sleep homeostasis. 6. Pattern of sleep and wakefulness driven by light and darkness of day. 7. Brain mechanism located in the SCN that controls our circadian rhythms.

8. Includes setting up a regular sleep schedule. 9. One of two states of sleep, when rapid eye movements occur. 10. The study of movements (brain, muscle, and eye) in sleep. 11. The drive to sleep.

May 2010




Quiz & Crossword Answers QUIZ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


7. T 8. F 9. F 10. T 11. T 12. T

CROSSWORD ACROSS: 2. Twilight Zone 4. Sleep Latency 12. Clock Dependent Alerting 13. Diurnal 14. Crusader 15. Triumvate of Health

DOWN: 1. Multiple Sleep Latency Test 3. Sleep Debt 5. Opponent Process Model 6. Circadian Rhythms 7. Biological Clock 8. Sleep Hygiene 9. REM Sleep 10. Polysomnography 11. Sleep Homeostasis

May 2010




RED ALERT: The Drowsiness Edition  

Stanford University Sleep and Dreams Spring 2010 Outreach Project by Angela Kwok (Content), Stephanie Liou (Graphics), Peri Unver (Content)...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you