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A Regular and Healthy Sleep Habit

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When I look at the clock it is 5:40 a. m. , time and again, I suddenly wake up at 5:40 a. m. and this is my normal rhythms in these six months. In general, I always sleep at 2:00 a. m. and wake up before dawn. Yet, it is hard for me to sleep again. How ironic it is when I see this slogan on my phone, actually with such a poor sleeping quality how can I enjoy my life? The poor sleeping quality was almost more than I could bear. It is hoped that with this action plan I can improve my undesirable behaviour, join the sleep world and enjoy my life

Why I have this undesirable behaviour

In the past, I usually sleep at 11:30 a. m. and wake up at 8:00 a. m. because all my lesson started at 9:30 a. m. . Everything started to change since I live in the campus dormitory and met my roommates. They are extroverted and they liked to play Mahjong or board game with my floormates, so they always stay up late. However, I am sensitive to light and sound, it is hard for me to sleep before they go to bed and I can only have a light sleep. Later, I started wearing the eye-patch and earplug. Still, I cannot sleep well because I think about a variety of things such as peers, family, assignments etc.

What is more, since my sleeping quality is poor. After the lesson, I usually back to the dormitory and take a nap for at least 1-2 hrs. In the end, even though I want to sleep earlier, I can barely sleep at night. The sleeping quality even becomes worse, so I always wake up before dawn. Sometimes, my roommates will invite me to go out at midnight for late-night snacks or desserts, because my stomach is too full, I cannot really sleep at all. Furthermore, I like to play my smartphone even there are nothing interesting, I can lie on the bed and play for at least 2-3 hours. All these made me more energetic and sleepless.

Why I need to change my undesirable behaviour

Actually every day I just sleep for less than 5 hours due to the above reasons. However, the National Sleep Foundation suggested that the acceptable sleep range of young adults aged between 18 and 25 are 6 to 11 hours. It reflects that my sleeping duration is out of the acceptable range. This is the first step lead to poor quality sleep. As a result, it affects my daily life both physically and psychologically.

Firstly, I find that my weight gain a lots. Taheri, S. , Lin, L. , Austin, D. , Young, T. , & Mignot, E. (2004) observed that people who are lack of sleep tend to decrease the amount of leptin and increase the amount of ghrelin in their bodies. In facts, ghrelin can stimulate hunger meanwhile leptin signals satiety to our brain and repress our appetite.

Secondly, my immune system becomes weak. In these half years, I often get colds or influenza. The poor quality of sleep and the insufficient sleep range affects my immune system which it produces less amount of antibodies and T-lymphocytes in order to counteract disease. More importantly, the poor quality of sleep bring detrimental consequences on my interpersonal relationship. Owing to the poor quality of sleep, I cannot maintain enough energy for my daily activities. In addition, I started to become listless every day and indifferent to the surrounding environment. One day, my friends told me that I use to be an talkative person, but recently I am rather reticent. Actually, my poor quality of sleep affects my ability to recognize important social cues and process my emotional information which means it becomes hard for me to recognize happiness and anger.

All these totally affect my interaction with others and ultimately affect my interpersonal relationship. Therefore, it is a matter of urgency for me to change my undesirable behaviour.

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