Lack of sleep affects college students, study says

Angelica Arroyo
Torch Correspondent

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Photo courtesy of Roosevelt University 

Students will do anything to get good grades on homework and tests even if it means their sleep needs to suffer in the process.

According to a 2017 study conducted by the Sleep Health Institute and Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, irregular sleep patterns can cause poorer academic performance. 61 undergrad students from Harvard were studied for 30 days.

The participants were split between two groups. One with students who had regular sleep patterns and those who don’t.

The study claimed that students who had more regularity in their sleep would often have higher GPAs compared to those who sleep at random times.

“I feel like the person who wakes up at the same time every day are more prepared… The people who sleep and wake up at the same time everyday have a more positive effect on their work,” IMC major JT Polinski said.

The study also claimed that enforcing regular sleep schedules for a certain amount of days can improve alertness. Although, it won’t have the same effect with those who don’t have consistent sleeping patterns.

“Sleeping is super important for a person and it’s just like a computer. Sometimes you have to restart it, so it can have a better performance. We all need rest,” actuarial science major Chengjian Li said.

Sleep gives students the boost they need to perform better in school as well have better attention spans. If sleep times are too irregular, then a student is more likely to feel less motivated to pay attention and do better in school.

Although, the study claimed that there isn’t a significant difference between those who had sleep regularity and those who didn’t. The reason being was because every student has a different schedule that they follow whether it’s based on school and work as well as whether they live on campus or at home.

Orchestral studies major Katie Seybold said there are a couple of factors that contribute to her sleep schedule. “The amount of exercise or activities I’m doing, my diet and if it’s just a very stressful busy week or not,” Seybold said.

Even though sleep plays a big part in how much a student is alert in school, there are other factors that affect how well someone’s sleep is for them.

Many students find it difficult to find the balance between the recommended hours of sleep and academic performance.

The research found the differences were the delays in which a student went to sleep and waking up in comparison to what’s considered a healthy amount of sleep.

“…I think for a lot of students, it might not be necessarily as simple as they’re not sleeping and that’s affecting their grades, but why are they not sleeping, because they’re really sad or because they’re really stressed about school or because they’re really nervous…” Carly Surchin, advanced therapist extern, said.

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