The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.
A new study reveals that late-night cramming, hall parties, and other nocturnal activities can rob college kids of sleep, taking a big toll on grade point averages. Freshmen who racked up fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night saw a drop in their end-of-term GPA, the research showed. For every hour of nightly sleep lost, there was a .07 decrease in GPA.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says college kids should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep each night.
“First-year college students are only [getting] about 6.5 hours of sleep each night, which is significantly below the recommended needs for these young adults, and this has real consequences for their academic achievement,” said study author J. David Creswell, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
What’s robbing frosh of much-needed shut-eye? The list is lengthy, he said. “First-year college students have a lot of competing pressures on their nightly sleep, ranging from a desire to study more to wanting to build new friendships,” Creswell said. “These challenges often create sleep debt cultures on college campuses, making it hard for students to protect time needed to sleep.”
College kids must learn to prioritize sleep, he said.
For the study, more than 600 college first-years at three U.S. universities participated in five studies. Students wore watch-like devices to track their sleep.
On average, students slept 6 hours and 29 minutes a night during the week and racked up an additional 29 minutes of slumber on weekends. Students’ average bedtime was 2:01 a.m., and they woke around 9:17 a.m., the study found.
The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.