Better sleep habits lead to better college grades

Posted on October 17, 2019

Professors from MIT have found that the amount of sleep and the sleeping habits students have is strongly correlated with their academic performance. The study involved about 100 students from an engineering class in MIT. The students were given Fitbits, which tracked their physical activity for an entire semester.

The data collected showed that sleep, to a rather large extent, affects the grades of students. While the causal relationship has yet to be confirmed, it is obvious from the results that sleep is crucial for students to obtain better grades. However, there’s a catch – students who secured a good sleep the night before their paper did not show any academic improvements. The study found that the sleep which students get during the night they were learning were more important.

Additionally, bedtimes matter too. Sleeping at later times has a detrimental effect on performance, even if the time spent sleeping was the same. Individuals who sleep after 2am are likely exhibit poorer performance than those who sleep before this time. Sleep quality is crucial as well. Participants who have had consistent sleep cycles each night performed better than individuals with irregular sleeping habits. Sleeping patterns may also involve gender differences.

These results are rather worrying, given the fact that many college students compromise on their sleep to complete their academic tasks while keeping up with the content taught in class. The average grades of students who sleep about 6.5 hours were 50% lower than students who sleep on average just an hour more.

Students need to be aware of the implications behind their sleeping habits. While the results do not guarantee that having more good quality sleep leads to better grades, it might just help for students to get adequate rest which may help improve their academic abilities.


Source material from Science Daily