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  • Department of Psychology

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Sleep is essential and indispensable for the physical and mental wellbeing of students. However, good sleep is not obviously during university years. Studies showed sleeping complaints are quite common among students: up to 36% of all students suffer from sleeping problems. Increasing performance and time pressure, diverse sideline and exhausting test phases are special risks during university years.

Evidence for sleeping disorders among students

  • Tiredness or fatigue at daytime
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Problems to sleep through the night
  • Not beeing tired in the evening and problems to stand up in the morning
  • Rumination in the bed
  • Problems to concentrate at daytime
  • Temper and low loadability at daytime

Each of these symptomes can lead to worse study performance and to an impaired quality of life. Development of a mental disorder (e.g. anxiety disorder or depression) is possible in the long term. So if one of these points is true with you, it is possible that you suffer from a sleeping disorder.

What to do about it?

In 2015 the faculty of psychology of the University of Bielefeld performed the group training "Studieren wie im Schlaf" for the first time. The aim of the training is to overcome sleeping problems of students. Each training contains 6 training sessions. Each session takes 100 minutes in which the reasons for having the sleeping problems and solution approaches will be acquired. Aspects specific for students get special attention. The aim of the trainings is to reduce sleep problems as well as the concomitant burdens.

Training contents "Studieren wie im Schlaf"

The training for students suffering from sleep problems was developed at the University of Bielefeld by Prof. Dr. A. Schlarb and is being offered in the department for psychology AE 7. The concept underlying the program contains hypno and behavioral therapeutic elements. Our training is oriented on typical issues, which can cause sleep problems in students. Together with the students, we work on how to handle the sleeping problems.

Basis is the behavioral therapy which is enhanced by imaginative treatments and by the modern hypnotherapy. Many studies showed evidence for this combination.

In the beginning of the training, there is a detailed diagnostics. To classify the sleep problem and to decide if the training is suitable. Besides the imparting of information about sleeping disorders in students, the development factors and upholding conditions, the program shell help to overcome the sleeping disorder and to handle the connected burdens better. Associated, every student gets a training book for practicing.

The training takes place in groups of 4-8 students. In this way, everybody can benefit from each other and support one another.


The training includes one to two preliminary discussions, 6 training sessions and one debriefing date. The dates take place in the afternoon or in the early evening. The exact times and weekdays will be communicated befor the training starts.

Conditions of participation

All students with sleeping problems can take part. The participation is for free.

Information und Kontakt

Interested? Gather information without obligation. An e-mail or a call is enough.

University of Bielefeld
Department of Psychology AE 7
P.O. Box 10 01 31, 333501 Bielefeld
Phone: 0521 106-12495

How many owls live in OWL?

What are owls out of the sleep research perspective?

Owls are the so called evening persons or also called owls. It is typical for those people to stay up long past midnight and to get tired late. Usually, owls go to bed much later than the general population, which leads to problems standing up in the morning on a weekday and that they would love to sleep for a longer time. If you ask an owl about their productive time, then he will tell you about the later hours. Students, having the owl- characteristic like to learn in the evening and are given to postpone their sleep pattern backwards. If an owl could choose, they would prefer to go to work or study later and would prefer doing things in the afternoon or evening.

The opponent to owls are larks. The so called morning persons like to stand up early in the morning, and usually feel awake and fit quite fast. Their productive working hour is normally before midday. It is unpleasant for those people to learn in the evening. They like to go to bed in the evening and it is hard for them to stay up longer and to be active till late in the night.

By the way - did you already know, that during the adolescence we all are more like owls? Then OWL is full of owls and not of larks. Jokes apart - a distinct evening characteristic can indeed become a burden. If you need to stand up early for your job and to be focused and active in the morning. To less sleep, tiredness at daytime and problems to concentrate as well as performance problems or an increase of mistakes can be the consequence. Quite a few people also have problems with their emotional sensitivities up to endocrinologic changes which is a consequence of the sleep deprivation. If you have got such kind of problems with sleeping, suffer from difficulties falling asleep or sleep through the night or being tired during the day, you are welcome to refer to us.

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