Thursday, February 18, 2016

Snoozing Like A Panther

We should have the hang of sleep by now, but unfortunately, life sometimes gets in the way. Sleep has a huge impact on our overall health and academics: two of the most important things to us as college students. So while we may know that sleep is important, it’s also important for us to understand how we can improve our sleep and know what we should aim for. There’s always room for improvement, right? Let’s delve into some common questions regarding this issue.

How much sleep should I get each night?

  • Over the past 40 years the average sleep length of college students has decreased from 7 hours and 45 minutes to 6 hours and 39 minutes.
  • Individuals averaging less than 6 hours of sleep a night clearly experience a wider array of negative effects.
It is going to be different for every person, but it’s safe to say that you should aim for the 7 to 9 hour range when scheduling your sleep time.

What is a sleep/wake cycle? Why is this important?
You cannot make up lost sleep once it is lost. So when you stay up late studying for a test, don’t plan on “making up the hours” tomorrow. Knowing this, it’s important for you to create a consistent sleep/wake cycle, and follow it daily to ensure that you don’t lose any sleep.

  • You should wake up within an hour of your normal wakeup time each morning
  • You should go to bed within an hour of your normal bed time each night

I took an hour nap, and now I feel groggy rather than refreshed. What did I do wrong?
When napping, you should aim for 15-20 minutes maximum. If you nap longer than that, you have a higher chance of entering REM sleep, and it’s best not to wake up during a REM sleep as that is what can cause you to feel groggy or disoriented.

What can I change within my bedroom to create a better sleep environment?

  • Your bedroom should be a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment that is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • If sunlight is an issue for you, try room darkening curtains.
  • Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
  • Try turning your notifications off. The alert sounds may keep you awake longer.
  • Your bed should be comfortable and used only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music
  • Refrain from late-night snacking in bed, or eating a large meal.

For more information on sleep, or to request a one-on-one sleep consultation, please contact Brittany, Health Promotion Coordinator, at (217) 581-7786, or

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Practicing Healthy Sexual Behaviors on Valentine's Day

With Valentine’s Day only a week away, love is in the air but that also means practicing safe sexual behaviors is of most importance!  Valentine's Day is the perfect time to talk with your partner about being sexually healthy.  EIU offers Rubber Lovers, an educational program aimed in preventing and reducing sexual health risks by teaching steps for proper condom use, relevant statistics and information regarding Sexually Transmitted Infections, and the importance of getting tested.  Below are 5 ways to practice healthy sexual behaviors and 5 reasons you and your partner should go get tested this Valentine's Day!   


Ways to Practice Healthy Sexual Behaviors

Always gain consent before engaging in any type of sexual behavior.

Consent is the number 1 step before proceeding with your partner.  Prior to engaging in sex, communicate with your partner what you are and are not comfortable doing.  Be sure your partner has the same wishes as you.  Talking with your partner about sex and consent incorporates healthy communication patterns while also building trust.


Always use protection during any types of sexual activity. 

Use flavored condoms for oral sex on a male and dental dams for oral sex on a female or rimming. Male and female condoms can be used for vaginal and anal sex but be sure to only use one or the other at the same time.  Using two condoms creates friction resulting in the condom ripping or tearing.


Go get tested with your partner!

Whether you and your partner have been together for a long or short period of time, getting tested for STIs at least once a year and between every new sexual partner is vital.  STIs can take weeks, months, and even years to show up.  Routine testing allows you to know your sexual health status.


5 Reasons to get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections

  1. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be deadly if not caught early enough.
  2. By the age of 25, an average of 1 in 2 sexually active people will have contracted a sexually transmitted infection.
  3. Being sexually healthy develops respect for yourself and your partner.
  4. 80% of those who have a sexually transmitted infection do not show any symptoms.
Testing is easy, all you need is a urine sample for most tests. Testing services are available at EIU Health Service Clinic. To make an appointment, go to the Health Portal on PAWS or call 217-581-3013 to schedule an appointment.
Practicing sexually healthy behaviors with your partner increases your chances of spreading love and affection instead of Sexually Transmitted Infections. To learn more about STIs and proper condom use, please attend one of our Rubber Lovers sessions today!
  • February 11, 2016            5:00 p.m.             Martinsville Room
  • February 17, 2016            7:00 p.m.             Martinsville Room
  • February 23, 2016            5:00 p.m.             Martinsville Room
  • March 3, 2016                   5:00 p.m.             Martinsville Room
  • April 4, 2016                      7:00 p.m.             Martinsville Room
For more information regarding sexual health, please contact our Sexual Health Promotion Coordinator at

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kognito: Online Suicide Prevention Training

The semester is in full swing, due dates are starting to pile, and the feeling of stress tends to slowly creep back into our lives. It is important for us, as a Communiversity at EIU, to be able to relieve stress in healthy, positive ways, but it’s also important for us to be able to identify and help others who may be feeling especially stressed out, or having difficulty dealing with a current issue or situation.
Kognito At-Risk for College Students offers three 30-minute, interactive, free online training simulations that prepare faculty and staff, students and student leaders, including student employees, to provide support to peers who are exhibiting signs of psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation.

Kognito has created three training courses specifically geared for helping and identifying:
* Distressed students
* LGBTQ students struggling with acceptance and
* Student veterans adjusting to college life.

Through a self-paced, narrative-driven experience, participants build knowledge, skills, and confidence to identify, approach, and refer an at-risk student to counseling, mental health, or crisis support services. Recognizing signs of depression and suicide are important in keeping Eastern Illinois University a supportive and motivational environment. Click the following link for a brief, 3 minute walk-through video:

We would like to encourage all students, staff, and faculty participate in one or more of these training sessions to help build a better, safer #communiversity for those in need of support. To spread acceptance, education, and a more supportive #communiversity at EIU, please click here to get started. Again, the three sessions are free, simple to navigate, and can easily be resumed at different times if it cannot be completed all in one sitting. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Kognito At-Risk for College Students or would like someone to talk more about this training, please contact the HERC at or call (217) 581-7786.

No matter what problem you or someone you know may be facing, there are free, confidential resources available 24 hours a day. Please see below for additional on and off campus resources.
  • EIU Counseling Center
  • Local Crisis Line via LifeLinks
    • 1 (866) 567-2400
  • National Crisis Call Center
    • 1 (800) 273-8255
    • Or Text “Answer” to 839863