Healthy Eating & Living
You are here to be a student, but we know that there is much more to your day-to-day than going to class and working on homework.
With demanding class and work schedules, college students can easily fall into the convenience of foods that are often full of sodium, fats, and preservatives. Good nutrition is important, and eating right will help you feel better physically and emotionally, which will positively impact your performance as a student.
Things you can do to step up your nutrition game:
- Get a Personalized Meal Plan.
- Take a Cooking Class: Culinary Corner is the demonstration kitchen located on the first floor of the UND Wellness Center. You'll learn cooking skills and how to make healthy meal choices.
- Book a Nutrition Presentation: Various nutrition presentations are available and are led by a Registered Dietitian, dietetics student, or Health Promotion Peer Educator.
You may have heard that college is all about getting little sleep, taking naps, and drinking tons of coffee and energy drinks. Some may choose to make these choices, but it certainly is not a requirement for graduation! In fact, you will likely perform better academically if you make sure to get enough sleep (which likely will mean consuming caffeine only in moderation).
Here are few tips:
- Keep a sleeping routine by going to bed at the same time, including the weekends. By being consistent with your sleep, your brain will rejuvenate faster and better.
- Make more time for sleeping by getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Take short naps, but limit them to 20-30 minutes and take them before 3 pm
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed because these stimulants can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Adjust the lights, wind down and quiet your mind by a relaxing activity. Try to avoid distracting activities like checking your e-mail, watching TV or talking on the phone.
- Don't go to bed hungry or thirsty; your stomach will keep you up longer. Also, don't go to bed on a full stomach, you may have to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, only further adding to sleep deprivation.
- Try such calming snacks as milk, yogurt, oatmeal or bananas.
Not getting enough of that needed sleep? You can consider yourself sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is a prolonged period of time without sleep or insufficient amounts of sleep.
By being sleep deprived, you may:
- Be more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections
- Forget important information
- Display an increased risk of accidents due to sleepiness and poor coordination
- Experience more emotional problems, including depression and anxiety
- Feel irritable and experience mood swings
- Have a reduced ability to deal with stress
- Show poor judgment, concentration, and an inability to make decisions
- Increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and death
- Age more rapidly
- Pose risk not only to yourself but others around you
Most common symptoms of sleep deprivation include the following:
- Feeling tired or unrested
- Napping often
- Trouble staying awake
- Yawning often
- Blink frequently
- Experience concentration or memory problems
- Experience disconnected thoughts
- Daydream frequently
- Inability to tolerate stress
- In extreme sleep loss, headaches and hallucinations
Sleep deprivation can be caused by a number of behavioral problems like choosing not to sleep, using stimulants that can prevent or disrupt your sleep, or taking many naps throughout the day. An example of this could be staying up late doing homework or studying for exams and not going to sleep. Another cause of sleep loss is a medical condition like insomnia or sleep apnea. In these cases you should contact your doctor to see what treatments are best for you.