Alcohol and Sleep

Some individuals believe that consuming alcohol before bedtime will lead to a better night’s rest.  

Are they right?  

  • No. Alcohol, actually, leads to poorer quality of sleep. 
  • Many people think that alcohol will help them fall asleep. In fact, about 20 percent of Americans drink alcohol in order to help them go to bed at night.  

Why do people incorrectly associate alcohol with better sleep quality? 

  • Alcohol is a depressant and can help you fall asleep faster. However, this does not mean that your sleep quality is better.  

What happens when you drink alcohol before bed? 

  • There is a battle between the alpha and delta rhythms in the brain. 
    Drinking alcohol before you go to bed initiates alpha and delta activity within the brain. These two rhythms compete and affect sleep quality. 
    Alpha activity happens when you are quietly resting.
    Delta activity is associated with deep sleep and learning and forming memories. 
  • Circadian rhythm is interrupted. 
    Alcohol does make you fall asleep faster. However, you are more likely to wake up during the night.
    There are certain chemicals in your body that build up when you need sleep or have been up for a long period of time.
    One of these chemicals, adenosine, increases after drinking alcohol. This causes you to fall asleep faster.
    However, adenosine decreases very quickly, which causes you to wake up faster when you aren’t necessarily well rested.  
  • Blocking of REM sleep occurs.
    REM sleep is the most restorative type of rest. Less REM sleep leads to grogginess as well as lack of focus.
    Alcohol will block REM sleep, so you will receive very low-quality sleep.  
  • It affects breathing.
    Alcohol is a depressant, so it has a relaxing effect on the entire body.
    It relaxes most muscles, including the throat muscles. This can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.  
  • You will have to go to the bathroom more. 
    Alcohol is a diuretic and can make you have to go to the bathroom.
    During the night, you are more likely to make extra bathroom trips instead of getting quality sleep.  

Instead of reaching for a nightcap, what are some tips for falling asleep? 

  • Stay off your electronics at least one hour before bedtime.  Try keeping your electronics out of your bedroom. This includes laptops, cell phones, and tablets.  
  • Designate a period of wind-down time before bed. Do something relaxing during this time. Some ideas include reading a book, meditating, journaling, or stretching.  
  • Completing a breathing or relaxation exercise before bedtime may help you fall asleep quicker. 
  • Try to wake up at the same time every morning. Adjusting your body’s internal clock will positively impact your sleep cycle. 

If you’re in bed but can’t seem to fall asleep, what should you do? 

  • Get out of bed and walk to another room or space. Outside of your room, do a short, relaxing activity such as listening to music. Keep the lights dim.  
  • Try to stop thinking about racing thoughts. Mentally picture a relaxing scene and notice the sensations that you feel.  
  • Adjust your sleeping position. Some studies have suggested that a side position may be linked to better sleep quality.  
  • Visualize things that make you happy. Think about what you are grateful for in the moment.  
  • Evaluate your comfort. Are you too hot or too cold? If so, adjust the temperature in the room. If needed, put on or remove layers.  
  • Try a mind exercise. One example is counting backwards from 100 while simultaneously closing your eyes.   

If you’re in bed but can’t seem to fall asleep, what shouldn’t you do? 

  • Do not pick up any electronics, no matter how much you want to! 
  • Don’t turn on the lights. Make sure that you keep them dim, even if you decide to go to another room. 
  • Do not look at the clock. This will cause additional stress and will most likely inhibit your ability to fall asleep.  
  • Don’t stress! Most people become frustrated when they can’t seem to fall asleep, especially when they know that they must be up early in the morning. Do your best to relax. 

Next time you think about drinking to help fall asleep, redirect and try to implement a new activity into your nighttime routine.   



Campus Dining Resources in a COVID World

School may look and feel differently this year, however, many of the same options are available to students from Campus Dining and beyond. The good news is you can find a variety of options to meet your needs and satisfy your taste buds!  

Balanced Buckeyes
Campus dining has a variety of options that are nutritious and delicious. To create a balanced meal, aim for a mix of macronutrients by including 3 or more food groups with at least one protein or dairy source and one fruit or vegetable. For examples, check out this My Plate: Campus Dining handout of different meal ideas you can find across campus.  

The Grubhub app is available to order food ahead of time and will alert you when your food is ready for pick up, or you can have food delivered by select restaurants. Campus dining has a variety of prepackaged meals and snacks to choose from, some of which you can find on these handouts: Campus Dining Snacks and Prepackaged Snacks (page 2). On days you have a busy schedule, consider stocking up on food the day before so you can have it readily available for the next day. 

Net Nutrition
For students with food allergies or dietary preferences, use Campus Dining’s Net Nutrition to explore what options are available at different dining locations. This also includes nutrition and ingredient information so you can make choices to fit your dietary needs. Information can be found on Campus Dining’s website by selecting the Nutrition link and Net Nutritionand through the OSU app after selecting the “Campus” tab and scroll down to “Dining.”   

Home Cookin
While you may not always have access to your kitchen from home, there are things you can make in your residence hall using your microwave and mini fridge! Check out the Student Wellness Center’s College Cookbook which includes a compiled list of easy-to-make recipes of meals, snacks, and treats!


Nutrition Coaching
Whether you have health concerns or are interested in optimizing your health, students are welcome to schedule a free nutrition coaching appointment through the Student Wellness Center. We hope to see you soon! 

The WAPpening

It’s the end of September and WAP by Cardi B (featuring Meghan Thee Stallion) has cemented its rightful place in the Billboard Top 100 for the last 4 weeks; peaking at #1 and never dropping below #2.  

Whimsically written, WAP has been funneled through social media and popular culture at an explosive rate. On the monstrous social media outlet TikTok, the most viewed post featuring the song has exceeded 58.5 million views. Then there is the music video, which if you haven’t watched it, it’s quite the journey. I personally appreciate WAP’s candor; it never pulls a punch and it’s brilliant in doing so. However, the song hasn’t entirely inspired everyone to break the stigmatization of women’s sexuality.  

Rather, WAP has encountered resistance and confusion. DeAnna Lorraine for instance, a Republican politician who lost against Nancy Pelosi for representation of California’s 12th Congressional District, went as far as to tweet that the duo behind WAP “set the entire female gender back 100 years” with their hit single. Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, demonstrated a lack of knowledge concerning hyperbole when questioning the health of women requiring “a bucket and a mop” on Twitter after initially ranting about the song on said show.  

Herein lies the ageold phenomenon of this particular double standard: why is it that explicit (at times even implicit) music that male artists make about sex normalized while explicit music that female artists make about sex considered uncivilized?  

Exhibit A: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke (featuring T.I and Pharrell). Granted, Blurred Lines is a song that promotes non-consensual sex, but it still works perfectly for this comparison. Blurred Lines is charismatic and catchy, and at first glance masquerades as four minutes of flirting. A second look at the song makes it apparent that the lyrics allude to misogyny, intoxication, and sexual assault. Unlike the satisfying tune of Blurred Lines,” WAP is an aggressive roller coaster ride, but the lyrics are simply about sex, regardless of how raunchy they may appear. In all fairness, WAP describes healthy sexual practices and kinks, as well as common sex toy usage ala Kegel balls. Sure, both songs describe drinking and drug use, but one song specifically uses it in the context of controlling women, while the other focuses primarily on sex as a pleasurable, normal practice for women.  

Regardless of one’s thoughts on WAP,” it would be folly to ignore the consequence of its arrival in popular culture. Perhaps we will look back upon WAP as a onceinageneration song that inspired social change and dialogue focused on destigmatizing female sexuality in American culture. After all, hindsight is 2020. 

-Sebastian Imitola, Safer Sex Wellness Ambassador

Jumpstarting Your Semester with Mindfulness

The beginning of a new semester brings about a variety of different emotions. For many students, there are feelings of excitement, joy, and enthusiasm. Others may be experiencing feelings of fear, nervousness and doubt. As we all step into the Fall 2020 semester, many of us are also experiencing heightened levels of uncertainty and anxiety as we navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic.  

For many of us, faculty and staff included, we have had to shift our plans and adjust our expectations for the Fall 2020 semester. With everything happening in the world that may seem out of our control, it can be difficult to focus our energy and intention on the things that we can control.  

If you are experiencing any of these challenges right now, you might consider implementing some of these mindfulness practices into your day.  

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. When we practice mindfulness, we are practicing the art of creating space for ourselves – space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.  

Check out these 3 simple strategies below for implementing mindfulness into your daily life:  


In mindful meditation, we are learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness. Meditation can be 5 min a day or it can be multiple hours in a day. Try to release the pressure to meditate a certain way and simply work on implementing a daily practice that could work best with your schedule.  

Check out these meditation apps to help you deepen your practice:  

  • Headspace – Headspace has been branded as “your gym membership for the mind” and believe that your mind is a muscle that deserves just as much attention as your biceps. The app also offers sleep music and soundscapes to help you get sleep.  
  • Liberate – Liberate is the #1 meditation app for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. The meditations are led by BIPOC practitioners who have diverse backgrounds and approaches to support healing focused on common cultural experiences such as microaggressions.  
  • Insight Timer – A multifaceted gateway to more than 30,000 guided sessions that tap into every emotion rattling your nerves, it also offers relaxing music tracks, and therapeutic pep talks.  


Journaling is a great opportunity to engage in self-exploration and expression, helping one to live in the present, to become deeply aware and appreciative of life. Journaling can take place at any time of the day; however much research has suggested journaling right when you wake up or right before you go to bed. Here are few journal prompts to consider:  

  • What current emotions or feelings are you experiencing right now? How are those emotions or feelings resonating in your body?  
  • What are 3 things you are currently grateful for?  
  • Write down 5 things you admire about yourself.  


Grounding, also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. Being grounded can mean two things; being fully present in your body and/or feeling connected to the earth.  

A few ways you can get grounded include:  

  • Walking barefoot 
  • Lying on the ground  
  • Submersing in water 
  • Gardening  

However you choose to connect your body to the earth, make sure that it is skin to earth contact. Some benefits of grounding include reducing stress levels, facilitating better sleep, improving circulation and improving mental health.  

Taking care of ourselves is instrumental to our overall well-being. We hope this list provided you with some new ways to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life.  

Ivory Levert
Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL), Program Manager  

Top Five Spots on and Around Campus After a Long Week

The first few weeks of the semester has officially come to a close, and without fail, as you fill out your planner, the stress starts to sink in. Things four to eight weeks away feel days away and weekly discussion posts feel more like a chore than being involved in an intellectual community. Whether it is the first week or finals week, we all need some ways to unwind and some things to do to get our minds off of school. Many students say they drink to relieve the stress of a long week, but that got me thinking: What are some ways that we could have fun and relax without alcohol or other drugs? So I came up with my top five favorite places to go and things to do to socialize with friends, blow off steam, or have some alone time in a safe and responsible way. 

  1. Sole Classics – 846 N High St.

This is for all my sneakerheads out there. If you are looking for a place to admire some cool shoes while listening to great music, Sole Classics is the spot for you. Located in the heart of the Short North, Sole Classics is a great spot to window shop or cop a new pair of shoes. Grab Melt or Roaming Goat Coffee while you’re in the area! 

  1. Global Gallery Coffee Shop – 3535 N High St.

A nice patio with a breeze, cold brew coffee, and plenty of people-watching, not much else beats it! Global gallery is a great space with group seating, so bring your friends after a long day of classes and enjoy Clintonville. They also allow dogs on the patio, so feel free to bring your pup! This is a great place to read or listen to a podcast without anyone bothering you, too, so if you want to make the trip solo, I highly recommend this spot. 

  1. The RPAC 

If you need to relieve your stress in a more physical way, the RPAC has everything you could possibly need. Racquetball, basketball, weightlifting, running, swimming, and much more. The RPAC also offers virtual group fitness courses that allow you to get a workout in from the safety of your home.  

Note: If you plan on working out at the RPAC, be sure to fill out the facility access waiver and wear a mask! 

  1. Ohio State Practice Fields

People sleep on this next one. Being in the heart of Columbus, we don’t always take the opportunity to be in a green space. While this green space is artificial turf, it has a great view of the football stadium, the RPAC, and the Lincoln and Morill Towers. This is a great backdrop to spend a Friday or Saturday evening with friends throwing a frisbee or playing Spikeball. This also makes for a great space to meet new people with similar interests! Don’t be afraid to make a new friend. 

  1. Used Kids Records

The Mecca of music. Music has a way of connecting people. Even if you don’t own a record player, this place is great for finding new artists and ones that you forgot you loved. From the outside, you wouldn’t expect Used Kids to have hours of records to look at, but you could surely spend large portions of a day there.  

Tip: Album covers make for great dorm décor. Make use of the free and discounted section to create a wall in your room that has some cool album art! Here’s a photo of one that I did that only cost me $16. 

Campus and the surrounding communities are full of fun opportunities to relax and socialize while remaining drug and alcohol free. Take the time to research the free and low-cost options around campus, and make the most of your time here at Ohio State! 

Cameron Justice, BSSW Intern 

Who/What/When/Where/Why of NAPPING

A new academic year is upon us and that means new school supplies, new challenges, and new schedules. Whether you are a night owl or early bird, creating a course schedule that is conducive to your natural sleep rhythm is important. For those who do not have the flexibility to schedule whenever they want, napping is a great addition to those days when a cup of coffee or a quick walk are not enough to make it through the day.  

 When planned and implemented correctly, naps can be extremely beneficial and are not just for gaining an energy boost but they can also help to provide relaxation, improve mood, and increase alertness. Read up on best practices for napping below to maximize your nap and make it through the day.  

When should you take a nap? 

  • You feel unexpectedly fatigued, run down, or sleepy 
  • You know that you will get less sleep that night  
  • You want a quick burst of energy/revitalization throughout your day  

How should you take naps? 

  • Keep them short! Naps should only be 10 to 20 minutes long. Longer naps are more likely to cause grogginess.  
  • Take them within the early afternoon. Aim to be finished napping by 3:00 pm. If you take a nap too late, it can interfere with your sleep cycles throughout the night.  
  • Find an appropriate environment. The room should be quiet and dark with minimal distractions. Set the room to a good temperature.  

What should you do directly after a nap? 

  • Stretch and move your body slowly.  
  • Allow yourself to wake up fully. Don’t rush into any activities. 

What are some benefits of taking naps? 

  • Elevated mood 
  • Alertness 
  • Better performance 
  • Faster reaction time 
  • Better memory 
  • Reduced fatigue 

What are some downsides to napping? 

  • Sleep inertia, which includes grogginess and disorientation  
  • Future sleeping problems such as insomnia or poor-quality sleep throughout the night 

What are some stigmas associated with napping? 

  • If someone naps frequently, they are lazy and have a lack of motivation. 
  • Napping is only appropriate for young children, older individuals, and those who are sick.  

These stigmas are false, and they indicate that we need to be more educated on the potential benefits of napping. Although the best way to stay healthy and alert is to achieve quality sleep at night, occasional naps can really improve your mental and physical stamina!  




The ROI of College

As the tuition deadline passes and the weight of a new semester of academic work looms, you may be wondering what you signed up for.   With the cost of education top of mind, avoid reducing college solely to a monetary transaction.  Students come to Ohio State with many goals in mind – be it an excellent job, a great social life, or a prestigious graduate school.  Aside from a boost in earnings, there are many long term tangible and intangible benefits to completing a college degree.  

  • College is a uniquely easy time to meet new people.  Your neighbor or the person sitting next to you in a lecture could be a lifetime friend or valuable member of your future professional network.  Making friends today can build a network for your career or even the people you start a business with.
  • Classes are not solely about developing specialized vocational skills.  Use your general education credits to develop as a well-rounded professional and person.  A finance professional or engineer with excellent written and oral communication skills will have a leg up in the interview process and will be more effective in articulating their ideas and selling themselves during their career.  You never know if the next GEC you take could spark a lifetime passion in a subject. 
  • Some majors certainly lend themselves to specific careers, accounting majors tend to be become accountants, but that does not mean less vocational careers do not have value.  Those students in less career-oriented majors may have to do a little more work to get to their ultimate objectives, but still have the opportunity to have a great career. 
  • No matter your major or goals, be sure to start planning for your future while in college.  Internships are an excellent way to start building career experience regardless of your field. Make sure to checkout the Career and Internship Fair happening virtually on September 15 and 16.

National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month has been celebrated every September for the past 31 years, and Ohio State is once again proudly supporting this national movement to celebrate recovery in our community. It is a time to reflect on the healing power of recovery and celebrates individuals who have reclaimed their lives through the process. Most some Buckeyes, this could be celebrating their own journey to recovery from substance use disorders. For others, it may be celebrating a loved one who has found recovery – as so many of us are touched by the impact that alcohol and drugs in our lives.   

Together, the Collegiate Recovery Community and partners from across campus have put together a schedule of events that celebrate those in recovery as well as provide ways for everyone to learn more about what it means to be a Recovery Ally. The schedule can be found at  

What makes a recovery ally? A recovery ally is a person who strives to eliminate the injustices faced by people in or seeking recovery from a substance use disorder by championing efforts to support recovery, empowering individuals and creating recovery friendly environments where individuals, families and communities can thrive. We have trained over a thousand individuals on campus through our recovery ally training, and we continue to grow that number.   

Some of you may not know what the CRC is, and want to know more. The CRC is a place where students are empowered to be their authentic selves and support one another while navigating their college experience free of alcohol and other drugs. During these uncertain times, we have focused on making our supports and programming virtual and feel lucky to say we have continued providing all we would normally provide in person. We have a 24/7 virtual drop-in center exclusively for our community, a weekly mutual aid meeting, are continuing 1:1 coaching meetings with each of our students regularly. 

Why do we find it important to celebrate recovery on our campus? Our students in recovery at Ohio State are accomplishing amazing things. They are leaders in our campus communities, including in many pockets of student life. They are working towards degrees in a variety of fields – including law, medicine, social work, and engineering. Many of our students are working on critical research in labs across campus, and others are working on their dissertations. We have had over 50 CRC students graduate from Ohio State, all of which have gone on to be highly successful in their respective fields. What they all have in common is a celebration of their recovery as the foundation of the life they lead today. To us, that is worth celebrating!  

If anyone would like to learn more about how we support students, or would like to get involved in the CRC, please reach out to us at recovery@osu.eduWe know that now more than ever, students in or seeking recovery need our support and the community that the CRC provides.