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COVID-19 Community Digest: August 15, 2020

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To keep faculty and staff informed of actions and activities related to maintaining the health and safety of our community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the following communication will be distributed as needed to campus. Please visit the COVID-19 website for more details and updates.

Community Reminder

Our ability to continue with in-person learning this semester is dependent on all members of our community upholding our expectations related to COVID-19 so as to prevent and slow the spread of the virus. Please be diligent and wear your face covering, take your temperature, maintain appropriate distance from others, and wash your hands frequently. We’re In This Together!


Reporting COVID-19 Concerns

If you have a concern about a member of our community not fulfilling our community expectations, please complete the Wittenberg University: COVID-19 Report a Concern Form. A member of the COVID Response Team will follow-up as appropriate.

If you have a concern about exposure (yours or someone else’s) to COVID-19, you can also fill out the same form above. If you have general questions about COVID-19 and Wittenberg University’s response, please email covid@wittenberg.edu.


Support Resources

To assist with ongoing questions related to what mental health support resources Wittenberg offers its employees, the Office of Human Resources maintains a listing of all resources on its website, which can also be accessed here.


Face Shield Assembly

The University has supplied all employees with face shields in preparation for the start of classes, Aug. 17. Associate Provost Mike Mattison has provided the following video to help community members with shield assembly. Many thanks to Dr. Mattison for his assistance.

Mike Mattison Video Screenshot

#MaskUp Ambassadors

COMPASS: Sweet Success Center is ready to #MaskUp as the year begins, as are other offices and departments. The COVID Response Team also recently distributed research related to masks, which can be found here.

COMPASS Staff Mask Graphic

Wellness Tip: Sleep

"Sleep hygiene" is the term used to describe good sleep habits. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of guidelines and tips, which are designed to enhance good sleeping, and there is much evidence to suggest that these strategies can provide long-term solutions to sleep difficulties. There are many medications that are used to treat insomnia, but these tend to be only effective in the short-term. Ongoing use of sleeping pills may lead to dependence and interfere with developing good sleep habits independent of medication, thereby prolonging sleep difficulties. Talk to your health professional about what is right for you, but we recommend good sleep hygiene as an important part of treating insomnia, either with other strategies such as medication or cognitive therapy, or alone.

  • Get regular. One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends and days off. This regular rhythm will make you feel better and will give your body something to work from.
  • Sleep when sleepy. Only try to sleep when you actually feel tired or sleepy, rather than spending too much time awake in bed.
  • Get up & try again. If you haven’t been able to get to sleep after about 20 minutes or more, get up and do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy, and then return to bed and try again. Sit quietly on the couch with the lights off (bright light will tell your brain that it is time to wake up), or read something boring. Avoid doing anything that is too stimulating or interesting, as this will wake you up even more.
  • Avoid caffeine & nicotine late in the day. It is best to avoid consuming any caffeine (in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and some medications) or nicotine (cigarettes) for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. These substances act as stimulants and interfere with the ability to fall asleep.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime. It is also best to avoid alcohol for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. Many people believe that alcohol is relaxing and helps them to get to sleep at first, but it actually interrupts the quality of sleep in the middle of the pattern.
  • No naps. It is best to avoid taking naps during the day to make sure that you are tired at bedtime. If you can’t make it through the day without a nap, make sure it is for less than an hour and before 3 p.m.
  • Sleep rituals. You can develop your own rituals of things to remind your body that it is time to sleep — some people find it useful to do relaxing stretches or breathing exercises for 15 minutes before bed each night, listen to soothing binaural beats through earbuds, or sit calmly with a cup of caffeine-free tea.
  • Take a hot shower. A hot shower 1-2 hours before bedtime can be useful, as it will raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy as your body temperature drops again. Research shows that sleepiness is associated with a drop in body temperature.
  • No clock-watching. Many people who struggle with sleep tend to watch the clock too much. Frequently checking the clock during the night can wake you up (especially if you turn on the light to read the time) and reinforces negative thoughts such as “Oh no, look how late it is; I’ll never get to sleep” or “It’s so early; I have only slept for 5 hours; this is terrible.”
  • Exercise. Regular exercise is a good idea to help with good sleep, but try not to do strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime. Morning walks are a great way to start the day feeling refreshed!
  • Eat right. A healthy, balanced diet will help you to sleep well, but timing is important. Some people find that a very empty stomach at bedtime is distracting, so it can be useful to have a light snack, but a heavy meal soon before bed can also interrupt sleep. Some people recommend a warm glass of milk, which contains tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer.
  • The right space. It is very important that your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable for sleeping. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best, and make sure you have curtains or an eye mask to block out early morning light, as well as earplugs if there is noise outside your room.

Previous Issues of Community Digest

All issues of the Student Digest are posted on the W.I.T.T.: We’re In This Together website in the communications section. If you have a question that has not been addressed in these communications to date, please email the COVID Response Team.

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