LEMOORE — West Hills College Lemoore’s nursing students Mai Vang and Rocio Garcia asked students “how many hours of sleep did you get last night?”

Garcia gave students a questionnaire about their sleep patterns like if they have difficulty breathing or falling asleep at night, along with a variety of other questions.

Depending on their responses, Garcia would then give information about sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy as well as pointing them to resources to receive treatment.

It was all part of helping students learn about healthier living at WHLC's annual Health Fair Tuesday, hosted by the nursing program.   

Vang said the best piece of advice she would give college students is to stay on a regular sleep cycle. A lack of sleep can cause students to be unfocused and do poorly in classes.

“You want to have enough sleep so your body can recover,” Vang said.

Other nursing students asked questions about health issues for college students such as stress, sleep and nutrition. 

“It’s very interesting hearing every ones' input on healthy choices,” Garcia said. “It’s good information for all the students to get.”

At the health fair, nursing students Stevie Hawkins and Holidya Estrada taught students a few simple exercises to keep healthy.

“You don’t even need a gym membership to workout,” Hawkins said. “People think that they need to pay a monthly gym membership. You don’t.”

Hawkins said there are many exercises students can do at home such as pushups, crunches, squats and lunges. She added that those who want to intensify the workout can just add weights.

Estrada recommended students work out at the school gym at the Golden Eagle Arena, which gives a discount to students, staff and faculty.

“Exercising would also make you feel better,” Hawkins said.

Besides learning about sleep and exercise, students learned about a variety of health topics, received flu shots and checked their glucose levels and blood pressure.

Businesses like Kmart, In-Shape, Adventist Health, Family Eye Care in Lemoore and others were in attendance to give out information.

For student Michelle Castillo, attending the health fair was a way to receive some healthy tips, especially when it came to stress and anxiety.

“[Stress] is so prevalent, yet we don’t know about it,” she said.

Castillo said some of the helpful tips she received on Tuesday were how to manage her blood pressure by eating healthful foods and staying away from fast food.

Like many other college students, Castillo said fast food is an easy, quick choice for eating.

“I don’t think students understand that they are at risk for certain health issues,” said WHCL Assistant Director of Nursing Cynthia Dolata. “It’s amazing the number of young people who have high blood pressure and diabetes.”

“For me, if we can at least touch one person on our campus, whether it's a college student or faculty, that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

This reporter can be reached at csandoval@hanfordsentinel.com or 583-2422. 

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