Sleep is good for our brains – top tips

Alex Mortlock , Clinical Psychologist at the Health Centre is, among other things, a bit of a sleep expert. He shares some top tips for slipping off to the land of nod…

As we all know, sleep is good for our brains. It is especially important when we are putting a lot of pressure on our brains to perform at their best.

PetfulSometimes we don’t prioritise sleep enough when the workload is high, and sometimes we prioritise it too much and spend half the day in bed!

If you give your hard working brain a chance to recover at night, then you’re giving yourself the best chance of studying efficiently and performing with excellence on exam day.

James WindsorHere are some scientifically supported recommendation for things you can do to optimise your sleep quality, daytime alertness, and concentration:


  • Minimise exposure to electronic screens late at night.
  • Give yourself at least 30 mins time to wind down before bed.
  • Spend enough time in bed (8-9 hours), but not more than this.
  • When you can’t sleep, get out of bed for a while, then go back to try again.
  • Have a consistent time for getting up each morning.
  • Get some time outside each day to get your dose of daylight.
  • Do some physical activity each day.
  • Study sitting up, not lying on the bed.
  • Rather than worrying in bed at night, set aside a specific time to worry during the day instead. Write down something helpful you can do about each problem you think of.

Alex Mortlock – Clinical Psychologist, Health Centre

rfong ….and…


Images: Creative Commons Flikr; top to bottom Petful, rfong, James WindsorCameliaTWU


Movember starts tomorrow…are you ready?

Check out this info-graphic to get started growing a mo to save a bro! Then read below for more info.


  • 1 in 2 New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem at some time in their life
  • 1 in 8 New Zealand men will have depression over their lifetime
  • On average 1 man each day will take his life through suicide in New Zealand

Some signs of poor mental health include feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless and behaviors such as aggression, drinking more than usual and isolating yourself from friends and family.

Some ways to look after your mental health

  • Do more of the things that make you feel great and help you to de-stress
  • Spend time with friends
  • Share what’s going on, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed

Other Services & Resources

Guest lecture by Per Axelsson: Indigenous Health in Sápmi: past, present and future

Author: Dr John Reid, Senior Research Fellow, Ngāi Tahu Research Centre

When researchers want to study indigenous populations they are dependent upon the highly variable way in which states or territories enumerate, categorise and differentiate indigenous people.

Per Axelsson is one of the world’s leading researchers exploring the way in which indigenous people are categorized by Settler States and various science disciplines.

His work has been celebrated and recognized internationally, and his book ‘Indigenous People and Demography’ is one of the ‘go to’ manuals on the topic. His current research focus on a longitudinal study of colonization, state and the health of Indigenous Peoples in Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, 1850-2000.  He is a Wallenberg Academy Fellow and co-chairs the network of Family/Demography within the European Social Science History Association.


Per Axelsson: Indigenous Health in Sápmi: past, present and future