Sleep and College Students

(Photo courtesy of sleepcentermd)

by Daniel Witke

NEWBURGH— Sleep deprivation is common among college students and studies have shown that it can play a significant role on a student’s grade point average.

Most college students are so involved in either their major, work, or relationships, that sleep does not seem to be as much of a priority.

Dharamhet Khangura, a Mount junior, said excessive sleep doesn’t do anything to help his work ethic.

“When I sleep less than six hours a day I feel fidgety, so I am forced to pay attention in class,” said Khangura. “If I sleep for more than six hours a day, my body just becomes lazy.”

Khangura has a 3.2 grade point average in the pre-medical program; however, studies have shown that a lack of sleep can hurt academic success.

Dr. Jennifer Peszka performed a yearlong psychological study with 89 incoming freshman at Hendrix College which showed that the freshman who stayed up past 2 a.m. had a GPA of 2.84, compared to early risers, who had a GPA of 3.14.

The primary reason for sleep deprivation amongst students is irregular sleeping patterns. According to a sleep study done by Brown University, only 11 percent have good sleep quality while 73 percent have trouble sleeping.

Laura Corveleyn, a junior nursing major, gets about an average of seven hours a sleep, but she admits her sleeping pattern is inconsistent.

“A week ago, it took me all night to write a care plan and I only got two hours of sleep,” said Corevelyn. “The next day I slept ten hours, but I felt worse because my body wasn’t used to it.”

Even though Corveleyn has a broken sleep schedule, she is able to maintain a 3.1 GPA in the nursing program.

Not all college students have shown a decrease in grades due to lack of sleep.

Graduate student Jessica Flood did a sleep study on students in Huntington University. She observed 49 freshmen by tracking the amount of sleep they got each night and recorded their grades throughout the semester.

Her study showed sleep deprivation did not have a significant impact on one’s academic success. Several of her participants who received six hours of sleep or less, had a GPA of 3.5 or better.

Caitlin Bonanno, a sophomore history major, believes sleep is very important to academic success.

“I get eight hours of sleep a night and have a 3.0 grade point average but I feel like I would be doing much better if I got more sleep,” said Bonanno.

Although she admits having a hard time falling asleep, she believes her GPA would rise if she got rid of all her distractions.

“Even when I get a good night sleep, I become tired later on and wish I would have gone to bed an hour earlier,” she said.