Teresa Valerio talks about her latest sleep research and offers lessons on how to sleep well on illinoisstate.edu.
Can you describe your most recent research? What kinds of things are you finding out?
After looking at the health survey data from ISU students for several years, it was clear that sleep problems were consistently in the top three health problems they reported. So I reviewed the literature and found that this has been a problem across U.S. and international university students and that sleep problems were getting worse.
There had not been an evaluation of the sleep problem across multiple U.S. colleges and universities for a few years, so I assembled a research team to do this. Our major findings were that sleep quality decreased with increasing levels of stress or alcohol/cigarette use and with decreasing levels of general health. We recommended that college interventions should include efforts to address sleep quality to improve students’ academic performance and long-term quality of life, especially for students experiencing substantial stress or poor general health.