This article provides information about tackling sleep problems, and what support is available.

Sleep difficulty is a very common issue. There are a variety of factors which can contribute to sleep problems, including noise, late nights, and variable routines. For some people, sleep difficulties can trigger or accompany more serious difficulties, such as stress, anxiety, low mood or depression.

If you are having persistent difficulties with sleep then it is advisable to seek help. It is always advisable to consult your GP if you have persistent sleep difficulty or are feeling persistently low, especially if your daily functioning is significantly affected. It is also advisable to let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies - they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support.

For good health and wellbeing it is important to try to develop healthy routines, with regular meals and sleep times, and regular exercise. You can learn skills to help you tackle sleep problems, and there is a lot of advice and other support available:

Courses and workshops

The Student Wellbeing Service hosts a range of workshops and courses for learning skills to tackle common issues like stress and sleep difficulties.

We run a specific workshop on sleep several times a term, and our popular 'From Stress to Success' course teaches skills for stress management, including relaxation techniques.  Other relevant workshops might include ‘from procrastination to productivity’, the ‘Introduction to compassionate mind’ and ‘Mood boost’.  You may also benefit from attending our course on mindfulness to learn how to get better sleep. Consult our course and workshop programme to find out more.

All students also have free access to a set of online courses, called SilverCloud, to learn evidence-based strategies for tackling common issues. The 'Space from Stress' course includes a section on better sleep, and offers others useful techniques for managing stress and taking better care of yourself. These courses can be accessed confidentially and completed independently, in your own time and at your own pace. Find out more and register directly from the online resources article.

Student Wellbeing Service

The Student Wellbeing Service offers confidential help with a wide range of personal and emotional concerns and is available to every student at the University, free of charge. All kinds of students find their way to us from all over the University and for all sorts of reasons. Many of the students we see are having difficulties with sleep.

The service has three strands: wellbeing advice, counselling, and mental health advice. They are all linked together so when you apply you only have to approach us once – we will sort out which one is most likely to meet your needs.

To contact us or register for support see our article on accessing support from the Student Wellbeing Service.

Library books

The University library has copies of the following books which could be useful:

  • Brown, L - The Insomniac's Best Friend - 616.849/BRO
  • Burgess, M et al - Self-Help for Nightmares - 154.632/BUR
  • Espie, C - Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems - 616.849/ESP
  • Idzikowski, C - Learn to Sleep Well - 154.62/IDZ

Other resources

If you would like to research more around the topic of sleep, the Student Wellbeing Service can recommend the following self help resources:

  • NHS Booklets on Sleep and other common difficulties
    This page links to a series of excellent booklets providing information and self-help activities to learn skills for common issues, including sleep, stress, anxiety, low mood, and depression.
  • Sleep Problems
    Brief MIND leaflet detailing things that can disrupt sleep patterns with tips for improving sleep.
  • Mental Health Foundation Wellbeing Podcasts
    Free downloadable audio podcasts to help you relax, sleep and improve your general sense of wellbeing. They're designed to fit around your lifestyle and provide an introduction to the skills and techniques that can help you live a mentally healthier life.
  • Students Against Depression
    This comprehensive self-help site offers information about how depression works and why it arises, along with step by step advice for self-help strategies. It also hosts stories and blogs by students who tell their own stories of low mood and depression and provide tips and advice for dealing with it. The pages on the link focus on tips for developing healthier daily routines, in order to combat low mood.

 

University of Portsmouth Student Wellbeing Service:

 fb.me/uopsws

 @UoPWellbeing

 

  

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