Cyprus 2024: Gökçe Yılmaz Akdoğan | Assist. Prof. of Psychology at the Eastern Mediterranean University

Delegate: Gökçe Yılmaz Akdoğan

Affiliation: Assist. Prof. of Psychology at the Eastern Mediterranean University

Short Bio: I received my BA in Psychology at METU and MSc in child development at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Türkiye. I worked at Gazi University child protection center for 5 years where I have realized my passion for working with families and children. I received my Ph.D. in child and family psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2018. I had the chance to work with Dr. Karyn France and Dr. Neville Blampied on behavioral sleep interventions for infants and their effects on infant-parent attachment quality. I am now a faculty member at the Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Northern Cyprus. I established the “Sleep Behaviors Research Group” in 2022 and there are currently 3 master’s thesis students and 3 undergraduate students who actively participate in research and educational programs on the development of sleep and management of sleep problems across the lifespan.

Activity: As “Sleep Behaviors Research Group” (UDAG), we have planned and executed two distinct events for this year’s “World Sleep Day”; one targeting parents of preschoolers and one targeting emerging adults who are university students. This submission is for the second one.

Title of the Event: “Optimizing University Students’ Sleep: Insights and Solutions”
Type of Event: Panel
Chair: Gökçe Yılmaz Akdoğan, PhD.
Panelists: Members of UDAG ( Mürşide Gül Yılmaz, Aemel Imran, Yasemin Cansu, Bikem Kızılduman, Ebru Azak, Tuğba Geneş, Yağmur Deniz Ünver, Merve Hande Yağmur)
Sessions: Turkish session on 13th of March 2024 & English session on 14th of March 2024.

The Content of the panel was prepared and presented BY university students FOR university students (based on feedback from GYA). The presentations were 10 minutes long, and the language was kept simple and casual- supported with interesting PowerPoint slides.

The topics included in the event were as follows.
– What does “good quality sleep” mean for university students? (the basics of sleep)
– What happens when we don’t sleep? (the physiology of sleep)
– How does sleep affect our cognitive functions?
– How do sleep and our mood affect each other?
– What can we do to have better sleep? (sleep hygiene habits & techniques)

The target audience was selected as university students because there are 18000 students residing in Famagusta and this population is known to suffer more from sleep deprivation in general. Overall, we received great feedback from attendees, stating that this panel helped them understand their sleep cycle, motivated them to change, and gave them solid ideas to try out by themselves -even if they are staying in a dorm.

Location: Famagusta, Northern Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, ASA Hall

Date of Activity: 13.03.2024 (Tr session) & 14.03.2024 (Eng session)

Submitted by: Gökçe Yılmaz Akdoğan