Understand sleep deprivation and what you can do about it

woman at digital board reviewing the science of sleep

Parnia Mazhar, Communications Fellow

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to the human body. Sleep is essential for one’s short- and long-term health, but it is often overlooked. As the world confronts issues related to COVID-19, sleep is being even more disrupted. To help people understand the importance of and strategies to maintain quality sleep, Michigan Online is home to the Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions and Strategies Teach-Out. This Teach-Out helps you understand the impact of sleep deprivation and how to improve your own sleeping habits.

Originally released in 2017, this Teach-Out is updated with COVID-19 information and helps learners understand the effects of sleep deprivation and solutions to better their and their loved ones’ overall health. The Teach-Out helps participants understand the epidemic of sleep deprivation, learn personal ways to improve sleep, and encourages healthy sleep habits in their community.

“The purpose behind this Teach-Out is to help people identify issues with sleep,” Center for Academic Innovation Senior Design Manager Benjamin Morse said. “People are living through very challenging and unprecedented times and a lot of folks—especially those privileged enough to work from home—are taking a step back and looking at their own lifestyle and their own well-being. So, a Teach-Out that focuses on improving your sleep seems like a timely educational experience to put out there.”

Your Questions Answered

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Teach-Out also features a Question & Answer segment where learners submitted questions about how the pandemic can affect sleep. Three sleep experts answered questions about sleep, COVID-19, and more in a live online conversation that is now archived and available to learners enrolled in the Teach-Out.

“I don’t know how many resources are out there on sleep and improving your sleep behaviors during trying times like these,” Morse said. “So I think that alone is going to set this learning experience apart. It’s a short learning experience when compared to a full online course, so the barriers to entry are pretty low, and I think folks being able to jump into this when they’re at home and have a bit of extra time on their hands makes this a great resource.”

Utilize the Sleep Tracking Tool

Along with informational lectures, the Teach-Out offers various resources to help you improve your sleep. For instance, it includes a sleep tracker that you can use to track your behaviors as it relates to your sleeping habits. The tool will have you record the hours of sleep you get and users will fill out a questionnaire with questions such as, ‘What is your screen time?’ After completing the sleep tracker, the Teach-Out offers a tailored recommendation made to help you improve your sleep.

To learn more about sleep and how it can better your health, you can register for the Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions and Strategies Teach-Out.

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