Freshman Insomnia: Seven Tips To Get More ZZZ

As September settles in, college freshman are anything but settled. Instead, these students are rollercoastering through major life adjustments, especially those living in dorms or other shared spaces. Extra noises, unsettled sleep patterns, academic adjustments, general anxiety and bedtime social media browsing that skyrockets FOMO*(Fear Of Missing Out) often blend together and create sleepless nights that can trigger a downward spiral of fatigue, trouble concentrating, and poor grades…which leads to anxiety and more difficulty sleeping. What can students do to try and stop this cycle? Start with these seven steps:

  1. CONSISTENT SLEEP (and AWAKE) TIMES- with MWF and T/Th schedules,
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6 Tips for Freshmen Insomnia

Freshmen college students have many challenges as they adjust to their new environments, and sleepless nights in dorm rooms can trigger a downward spiral of fatigue, trouble concentrating, and poor grades…which leads to anxiety and more difficulty sleeping. What can students do to try and stop this cycle? Certainly there are multiple causes for insomnia, from roommate noise to seasonal allergies, to homesickness or academic stressors, but here are six basic steps to try first:

  1. CONSISTENT SLEEP (& WAKE) TIMES- with MWF and T/Th schedules, often students have drastically different sleep and wake times each day, which doesn’t jive with
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Healthy Holiday Gifts (Peleton Not Included*)

Last week the now infamous Peleton ad went viral, infuriating many who felt this commercial portrayed a sexist jerk of a husband who wanted his already thin wife to lose weight. Ironically, I am the proud (& almost immediately obsessed) recipient of a shiny new Peleton that was a birthday gift from my husband last month. Truth be told, this bike was on my wish list for BOTH of us, and not to transform EITHER of us into supermodels. I’m all about gifts that enhance exercise, nutrition or emotional/spiritual health, because these are truly the “gift(s) that give … Read more

Freaking Out Over FINALS? You’re Not Alone!

Intense test anxiety affects up to 20% of college students, and this time of year is the WORST. Finals are approaching, projects and papers are due, and added pressure from mistakes earlier in the semester can push students over the edge. Students (and their parents) often question whether they feel different than everyone else- is this “normal” or should they seek help?

With a typical student, test day adrenaline might cause extra bathroom trips up until the test starts, a racing heart and anxious anticipation, but once she starts answering questions, the physical symptoms subside enough for the … Read more

Top Five Best Gifts for College Students

In the final stretch of holiday season, what can you purchase for the college student who has “everything”? From the perspective of a COLLEGE CAMPUS DOC and mom of two college students, here are my top five gift choices:   (Disclaimer: NO financial ties to any products mentioned)

  1. Weighted blanket: Expensive ($100+)? Yes, relatively, but for anyone dealing with anxiety or insomnia, these are worth their weight (pun intended) in gold. These blankets feel like a massively prolonged hug, and have been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Any brand works, but if your student is particular about
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Fear of Flying

Yesterday’s tragic accident has no doubt magnified the fear of flying for many people (and let me add prayers of sympathy for those directly affected, as well as kudos to the brave pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, and flight attendants who helped save the rest of the passengers.) Despite the fact that this type of accident has not happened before, and is very unlikely to happen again, hearing and reading the horrific details add fuel to any anxiety surrounding flying. If you suffer from this fear, know that you are not alone- and that your family physician can offer you a … Read more

Getting ANXIOUS for FINALS? Try This!

Intense test anxiety affects up to 20% of college students, and this time of year is the worst. Finals are approaching, projects and papers are due, and added pressure from mistakes earlier in the semester can push students over the edge. What’s the difference between appropriate “nerves” and serious test anxiety?

With a typical student, test day adrenaline might cause extra bathroom trips up until the test starts, a racing heart and anxious anticipation, but once she starts answering questions, the physical symptoms subside enough for the student to focus effectively.

The student with intense test anxiety, however, accelerates … Read more

Altitude Matters!

Skiing for spring break? Whether you prefer downhill or cross country skiing, remember that the high altitude might add in a few medical challenges. Be aware of signs and symptoms of “mountain sickness” (aka. altitude sickness) and if you are susceptible to this issue, look closely at ski resort ALTITUDES. Full disclosure, my destination of choice is Crested Butte, CO, which is one of the higher resorts…no pun intended.

HOW HIGH do you have to be for altitude sickness?
There is not a set elevation for typical mountain vacations that affects everyone. Symptoms are uncommon at altitudes below … Read more

2017 Resolutions – Take 2!

Here we are, staring back at nearly half of 2017 in the rear view mirror already…so how did you do on your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions? For those of you playing along with me, you know I changed things up this year with my 20-1-7 Challenge, trying ONE new healthy habit each week. What stuck? What dropped off? What was the biggest surprise?

Looking back, I’m happy to share that the vast majority of challenges “stuck” and are part of my life routine. Which challenges became permanent changes for me?

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WATER: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #5

Dr. Grimes’ 20-1-7 CHALLENGE:

  • For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
  • Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
  • Commit to that change for SEVEN days.

WATER: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #5

WATER. Okay, confession time – the one simple health advice that I give but do not consistently follow very well is drinking enough water. Conventional wisdom (and virtually every diet plan) says we should consume 8 glasses of water (8 oz each) daily. However, there is no evidence-based specific “recommended daily allowance” for water, partly because there are so many individual variables (from kidney function to environment to sensible … Read more