Request a Sleep Well Workshop 

Need to Refresh?

Having trouble getting enough sleep? How about getting good quality sleep? Simply interested in learning more about how to get more restful nights? You're in luck! Campus Health offers a new program called Refresh, which is a 7-week self-help program to improve sleep quality. All participants who complete the program will receive a prize and be entered into a raffle to be one of five grand prize winners!

Registration for the Spring 2018 semester has closed. You can join the waiting list for Fall 2018 here.

For more information, contact Rebecca Huxta (


The Art of Sleep

This educational presentation discusses the importance of sleep. It will not only inform you of proper sleep hygiene, but discuss the tools and resources available to students on campus to help you achieve optimal sleep quality and quantity.

Sleep Jeopardy

Our Sleep Jeopardy workshop is an interactive version of the Art of Sleep presentation. Students will learn about the basics of sleep architecture, difficulties with sleep and sleep disturbances, typical occurrences during the different stages of sleep, and specific sleep statistics.

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Health Promotion and Education


Ever wonder what Campus Health is doing with our Sleep Well program? Check out this infographic highlighting our 2015-2016 academic year efforts!

Interested in the 2014-2015 academic year? Check it out here.

Check out what Campus Health's intern, Emily Paterson, senior gymnastics captain, is doing to shift the culture at Penn in regards to the importance of sleep!

Sleep Podcast

End your day in a relaxed and focused way by letting Sandi Herman,Health and Wellness Educator, talk you to sleep with a guided meditation. You can start with the intro, or move straight to the guided meditation.

Click here for the introduction to the sleep podcast.

Click here to listen to the sleep podcast.


Characterized by problems falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakening or a combination of all of these.
Insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. It can be caused by lots of different things, including physical, mental, and environmental problems. Students are at particular risk for sleep problems as they often have a constantly changing sleep-wake cycle due to classwork, exams, social issues, and environmental factors like noisy roomates!
Not getting enough sleep can cause irritability, difficulty with memory and concentration, decreased creativity, increased risk of injury and chronic issues like upset stomach or headaches.
It can take up to several weeks of proper sleep hygiene before your body starts to get into the right rhythm. It can take at least this amount of time until you start to "catch up" on lost sleep.
If you are concerned about sleeping issues you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss them with a provider (by calling (215) 746-3535). You can also review the tips below and try making some changes on your own.

Quality sleep helps to keep you healthy and engaged in class. Bad sleep can make you a candidate for colds, flu, or worse. Below are tips for a better night's sleep! 

  • Use your bed primarily for sleeping (or other obvious bed-related activities). Avoid doing schoolwork, watching t.v. or using the computer while in bed.
  • Try to go to bed and wake up at approximately the same times. This helps your body's internal clock get sleepy and more awake at the appropriate times. Try not to vary this by more than 2 hours on the weekends.
  • Make sure your bed and bedroom is a comfortable place! If you need to get more mattress or pillow support please do so. This is an easy solution to overlook. Use ear plugs, a white noise machine, and/or a night mask if you need to.
  • Do something relaxing in the 30 minutes leading up to bedtime. Television and internet tend to be stimulating activities for your brain so try to avoid them right before bed. Instead try taking a warm shower, reading, listening to music, or some other calming activity.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol or using tobacco in the 4 hours before bed and food in the 2 hours before. Alcohol tends to make you sleepy but then actually interferes with deep sleep. Tobacco acts as a stimulant. Trying to fall asleep on a full stomach isn't ideal either, but if you are awake because you are hungry then try eating a light snack before bed.
  • If you feel you have to nap, try to keep it less than 45 minutes to minimize its effect on sleep overnight.
  • No caffeine later than mid-day.
  • Exercise! Aim for earlier in the day as exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime can actually wake your body up instead of making you tired.
  • Turn your clock away from your bed. If you can't fall asleep then get up and do a quiet activity until you start to feel sleepy.
  • Decrease stress in whatever ways possible! Stress can play a huge role in any and all sleep issues.If you tend to lie awake thinking at night then keep a "worry journal" near bed and before you turn out the light make a "to-do" list for the next day or write down any other concerns you might have. Think of the journal as place to keep these things so that they can't distract you overnight.

Check out "Sleep is Awesome!"

Read more about the health benefits of sleep in this infographic. Click to read "Sleep is Awesome!"

Disease Prevention

Researchers still do not understand all the functions of  sleep but  all agree that sleep impacts cognitive abilities such as  information  processing, learning and memory consolidation.
To perform well  on exams, researchers believe getting regular sleep  is better than  timing sleep right before a test. Regular sleep helps  you to retain  information learned during the day but also contributes  to solving  complex problems at night. Click here for the full study by Matthew P. Walker and Robert Stickgold.
Good sleep also helps your immune system function (i.e. fight off infections) and helps reduce stress levels.

Health Policy

On average, Penn students report getting 6.7 hours of sleep per week night, which is below the National Sleep Foundation's recommended 7-9 hours for young adults and adults. This lack of sleep led to a negative impact on academics for 33% of Penn students in the 2013-2014 academic year.
Have an idea on how we can help students recognize the importance of sleep in regards to their overall health and wellness? Let us know!