Catch da Flava - Sleep
For the January 30th show of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, we invited Sleep Specialist Judith
Mendoza to talk about the importance of sleep for youth. Asking her a series of questions when
it comes to the issue of sleep for youth who are growing and struggling with different competing
obligations, Judith talked about how sleep is more important for youth than we may realize. She
mentions different tips for “sleep hygiene” which is about how to take care of oneself before and
after bed. She encourages people to turn off lights and slow down their activity an hour before
sleep, and upon waking up, turn on as many lights and open the curtains to signal to the body it
is daylight. She mentions that the body can’t tell the difference between daylight and electronic
lighting, so that’s why it is important not to have any lights on an hour before sleep or the body
will still think it is daylight and have a hard time adjusting.
Speaking on stimulants, Judith says it is important to have intake of caffeine to no more than
100mg per day before 3pm, which is about one cup of coffee a day or three cans of cola.
Especially for youth tempted to stay more alert to complete deadlines and study for tests, it is
important to prioritize sleep. Judith also mentions that resting from studying three hours before
bedtime is optimal to knowledge retention as it allows time for things to “sink in,” as the phrase
goes to “sleep on it.” In addition to caffeine, there are also energy drinks which are just as
cautionary, so no more than one can of energy drink would be ideal for someone living a busy
schedule. Judith also mentions that sleep aids like melatonin and other depressants are not
helpful in the long run because although it helps the body sleep, it does not allow the mind to go
into deep states of sleep such as REM so the mind cannot “unclutter” and clear out toxins as
well, which is what sleep is so essential in doing.
We would like to thank Judith Mendoza for being on air with us to talk about sleep and how it
relates to busy youth schedules. For more information on what Judith shares on sleep, visit: