Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


This room is made for Sleep!


SEE Tip: Sleep is crucial for functioning throughout the day.  So why not do everything we can do to create the best space for a restful night?  Whether you are sleeping in a residence hall, an apartment, a row house, or even a tent-- there is a way to make your sleep space ideal for quality ZZZ's.

  • Noise - It's best to keep most noise at a minimum.  That means, falling asleep while your roommate practices the trumpet is probably not going to work out well.  If the trumpeter HAS to practice (and can't get to the practice room), consider trying ear plugs to help you drown out the music.
  • Tempature - If you're freezing or sweating- you're likely too busy trying to regulate your body tempature to even get to sleep.  Instead, try creating a tempature that works for you.  Whether that's using a fan or using an extra blanket on the bed.  Find your cool place for a comfortable night's sleep.
  • Light - Keeping light to a minimum can help your body's natural circadian rhythms know that it's time to sleep (and time to wake when the sun peaks through the windows).  Start setting the darker tone by reducing light in the room at least 1 hour before you're attempting to be asleep; turn the main light off (use a small bedside lamp if needed), or try darker curtains on the windows to keep out street light.
  • Technology - Turn off the TV, Laptop, and any other tech about an hour before bed.  Consider reading a book (for pleasure or for class) instead of refreshing your Facebook feed.  Trust, the FB updates will be there in the morning-- perfect to read while eating your breakfast before class, right?
  • The S's- Sleep & Sex.  Keep the use of your bed limited to sleep and/or sex.  The bed should be associated with stress relief, not stressful things--  in other words, don't bring your books to bed, only yourself or a bed buddy.
Do you already do any of these?  Or think you might try one?  Stop by the Breezeway today from 10:45-12:30 to tell us about your sleep space, and you could win a sleep kit from PEEPs!

HKB Tip:  Creating an environment for better sleep can also mean reducing unhealthy distractions or addictions.  Some cigarette smokers may choose to fall asleep and/or wake up with a smoke.  However, we know this is not helpful for better sleep, as the smokers may feel an intense craving for the nicotine, possibly waking them from slumber and creating interruptions in their night of sleep.  Additionally, it can be extremely dangerous as the leading cause of home fire deaths is from smoking.  If you are a smoker, consider only smoking outside in a safe area, and avoid smoking in bed to reduce the chances of becoming a statistic.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  We're BAAAAAACK!  Stressbusters is back in the MSE tonight and throughout the rest of the semester from 8-10pm with free back rubs for all!  Stop by for a 5-7 minute back rub from a trained Stressbuster tonight.  Let us reduce your stress for a better night sleep and week ahead!


Staying in the Blue Zone

If you choose to drink, remember to stay in the blue zone. 

What's the blue zone?  It's a safer BAC level for people who choose to consume alcohol.  Somewhere between .02-.06 is the level people are looking for that buzzed feeling, the increased socialability, and general euphoria that can be what they are hoping to get out of the night.  However, a drink over that amount could lead to some risky territory.  

How do you stay in the blue zone?  Try having dinner with friends before drinking alcohol, and remember to drink water before, during, and after.

And be on the lookout for the PEEPs outside of CharMar tonight around 9:45pm for a free way to stay in the blue zone! #PartySafer


SEE what it's all about

SEE for yourself on Monday is a derived from the national Healthy Monday campaign.  SEE is specific to Hopkins, and was based on focus groups of undergraduates who noted the need for a focus on these three areas of health: Sleeping, Eating, and Exercising.

Each week, CHEW will send out reminders, tidbits, and provide activities related to one of these health areas.  Come find us for your Monday motivation to start your week off healthy!  And be sure to "Like" the CHEW facebook page and follow us on Twitter for healthy tips, articles, and info about where the peer health educators will be each Monday!

Hopkins Kicks Butts is a student group dedicated to educating and advocating about the dangers of tobacco use.  Looking to the near future, this group hopes to make Homewood a smoke-free campus to promote healthier outcomes for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

If you are interested in joining HKB to help with the smoke-free campus, providing information and resources to the campus, or doing other activities related to reducing tobacco use, please contact HKB's co-presidents at hopkinskicksbutts@gmail.com.   Or if you just want to know what's happening, "Like" the HKB Facebook page!

Got Stress? Get it busted with Stressbusters!  Stressbusters are JHU students that have been trained to give 5-7 minute back rubs.  You can find them in the in the library and other places around campus, or request them for your student group!  Follow them on Facebook for announcements, Stressbusters events, and stress relieving tips!


First Fall Semester Hump Day

Welcome to the first official Hump Day of the semester!  Each hump day we'll discuss sexual health on the blog.  Feel free to send in questions using the comments section below each post or reach out through Facebook, Twitter, or IG!

Facebook: facebook.com/chew.jhu
Twitter: twitter.com/chewatjhu
Instagram: instagram.com/chewatjhu

For today's first Hump Day, we want to highlight a few of the women's health offerings available at the Student Health and Wellness Center.  
  • Well-women exams!
    • You can make an appointment for an annual well-woman exam by calling the center at 410-516-8270.
    • Click here for more info on what to expect during a typical well-woman exam.
  • Birth control pills!
    • If you are a JHU student, you can get birth control pills from the SHWC, if you are receiving gynecological care there, as well. You can also register for birth control refills by going to the Pyramed Health portal on the SHWC website.  Once registered with the portal, go to "My forms" and select the Online Contraceptive Refill form.   
  • Condoms!
    • FREE condoms are available to all students in the SHWC waiting rooms, CHEW office, Library bathrooms, and at other CHEW programs.  
    • CHEW offers free FC2 condoms, which are internal condoms for females.  
    • CHEW provides dental dams for added protection for sexual activity.  These come in different flavors and are free.
    • We also offer a discounted brand name condom program, which includes discounted costs for Trojan and Durex condoms.  For more, check out the web request form here.  


Welcome Fall 2014!

Welcome Class of 2018!  And welcome back to all our Blue Jays!  Here's to a healthy year ahead!


Reading Period Raucous


The last day of classes is here!  You've worked so hard and are onto the final push.  Parties may be really appealing, and if you can enjoy in moderation, go for it.  However, if the temptation to go overboard is too much, consider avoiding it or implementing some safer party strategies to get you through and have a successful reading period weekend.

Try giving yourself a party curfew.  If you need to be productive the next day, you can still be social, but you may want to keep it to a limited time so you can sleep well in your own bed, wake up for your morning routine, and move on with your day.

If you choose to drink, consider keeping it to one or two drinks so you don't wake up feeling like this (at least he's brushing his teeth):

Plan out what you need to accomplish studying/writing-wise in order to do well during finals week.   Some other really important things to include are sleeping, eating, exercising, and seeing friends.  These things are crucial for your health, including your mental health. Take breaks, enjoy the company of others, and give your mind a rest every now and then.  Just be mindful not to drown your brain with alcohol, if you choose to have social activities which include alcohol use.

And for today, don't forget to stop by the Beach starting at noon for Nest Fest and Camp JHOP with the HOP, APTT, and PEEPs!


SEE breakfast today


SEE Tip: How often do you leave in the morning without eating breakfast? Did you know this could be the cause of any focus issues, memory problems, and of course, hunger pangs? Join the 78% of those who choose to make breakfast a priority by having something today.

Stop by Brody terrace for a cup of yogurt and granola from the PEEPS between 8-10am, while supplies last!

HKB tip: We want to know, do you or anyone you know use e-cigs or vape products? Post a comment and let us know if you do, and what made you start. If you don't, tell us what your thighs are on the latest nicotine delivery system.

Mellow Out Monday tip: Focus can be lost when all you're thinking about is how hungry you are feeling. Keep your focus by staying ahead of hunger. Start the day with breakfast to begin the day right. Keep small snacks nearby for later, and make time for your other meals. A properly fed body is a well fueled one. Fuel your body with breakfast and remove some of the stress in your day.

Want to end the day with a stress remover? Stop by Q level in the MSE for free 5-7 minute back rubs! Stressbusters are here for you!

  1. Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531705802428


Sippin' at Spring Fair


With the warm weather approaching and school finally dwindling down to an end, lots of fun activities start popping up around campus like Spring fair and most recently, Homecoming. These are the kind of events where memories are made, school spirit is expressed, and alcohol can tend to pop-up. While you’re basking in the sun (or even dancing in the rain as Spring fairs of the past have shown us), it can be easy to get carried away with drinking, should you choose to. At events like this, some may be drinking a lot, drinking fast and taking lots and lots of pictures to document every moment of it. While the pictures may show tons of fun, it actually puts the drinker at risk for many health complications. Drinking a large quantity of alcohol in a short period of time can be the recipe for more than just a killer hangover (1).  Binge drinking has been associated with contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, strokes, and liver disease (yikes!). Luckily, binge drinking doesn't have to be your fate. You are in control of the rate at which you drink. If you need some tips and tricks to help pace your drinking or avoid it altogether this list was written just for you:

1. Add extra ice to your drink. This will water the drink down, help keep you hydrated (alcohol dehydrates you), and will help you drink your drink slower.

2. For every cocktail or beer you have, have a glass of water after it! Again, this is a great way to keep you hydrated and you can even put the water in a solo cup and people will be less likely to question what you're drinking!
***Personal tip: if drinking isn’t for you or you just don’t feel like drinking, have a glass of water with a splash of cranberry in it! Tastes great and no one will be able to tell it’s a mocktail ;) ***

3. If you find yourself in a situation where everyone's playing a drinking game like beer pong or flip cup, where the point is pretty much to aid in chugging alcohol (a staple for the binge drinker) and you need a good way to get out of it just offer to be the referee! You’ll be in on all the action but won’t be expected to drink so you can stay sober or sip slowly on your cocktail!

4.     Enjoy Spring Fair and the events happening... check out vendors, food, and other events, rather than getting sucked into the beer garder and missing out on all the other offerings.  Explore, and stay hydrated!

Remember, if you CHEWs to drink do it safely so you can enjoy the event!

1. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm


Sustainable between the Sheets

In honor of Earth Week, we're thinking of some sexy ways to be sustainable.

  • Turn down the lights!  Use energy efficient bulbs for a softer glow, or keep the lights out entirely.  Use candles (including rechargeable battery operated candles) to create a romantic setting, and reduce the unnecessary light being used in the room.
  • Toy lover?  Try toys that are chemical-free by purchasing ones made of silicone, glass, or metal (just be sure to talk to someone about how to use it properly).
  • Try cotton, bamboo, or organic bedding!
  • Stay warm:  Cuddle closer! Plus body friction (with some lubricant for added glide) is known to stir up the heat.

Taking care of the earth and spending quality time with a partner can be beneficial for you and mother earth.  Go forth, use protection (if you choose to be sexually active), and have a good time!


SEE: Allergies got you up all night?

SEE tip:  The state of Maryland seems to be a Zyrtec's maker dream, as it is the land of allergies.  As someone who did not have allergies prior to moving here, I can attest to the sore throat and puffy eyes that seem to pop up when the weather outside is inviting, but the allergens are all around.  Surprisingly, a report of the worst cities to live in with allergies, actually has Baltimore pretty low on the list, at #81.  Apparently, Kansas is much worse!  Good to know.

Aside from the outdoor issues of allergy season, there is also an added struggle with sleep.  Being well-rested at Hopkins can be tough as is, but to add difficulty with breathing it makes sleep even more challenging.  As someone with allergies falls asleep, the breathing airway becomes more constricted throughout the night- leading to disrupted sleep.  Taking allergy medication, sleeping with additional pillows (to sleep more upright), and keeping sheets clean can help to reduce these issues and provide a better night's rest.

Tell the PEEPs about your sleep at the Breezeway today from 11:30-1:30 and enter for a chance to win J-cash!  Clean your sheets- on us (wherever J-cash is accepted).

HKB Tip: Allergy sufferers can be especially sensitive to cigarette smoke; whether it's their own smoke, a friend's (secondhand smoke), or even smoke remaining on someone's clothing (third-hand smoke).  Cigarette smoke can seriously agitate nasal allergies, and make allergies that much worse.  For better sleep and less irritated allergies, consider the benefits of staying away from smokers or quitting yourself.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: Recent research on stress and immunity have found that even slight stress and anxiety can worsen a person's allergic reaction to even the most routine allergies.  Not a great thing to hear as Spring allergy season picks up and finals around the corner.  Instead of freaking out about it, find ways to prevent the stress from taking down your immune system.  Keep allergies at bay by keeping a clean space with fresh sheets (change bedding about once a week), get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water.

Keep stress down in other ways, like stopping by the MSE tonight for a FREE backrub from Stressbusters!  Just 5-7 minutes will have you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for a good night's rest.