Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems

A new study shows that college students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers.

Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in are a strong predictor of academic problems even after controlling for other factors that contribute to academic success, such as clinical depression, feeling isolated, and diagnosis with a learning disability or chronic health issue. The study also found that have about the same impact on grade point average (GPA) as binge drinking and marijuana use. Its negative impact on is more pronounced for freshmen. Among first-year students, poor sleep— but not , marijuana use or learning disabilities diagnosis—independently predicted dropping or withdrawing from a course. Results were adjusted for potentially confounding factors such as race, gender, work hours, chronic illness, and psychiatric problems such as anxiety.

"Well-rested students perform better academically and are healthier physically and psychologically," said investigators Roxanne Prichard, PhD, associate professor of psychology and Monica Hartmann, professor of economics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Data from the Spring 2009 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (NCHA) were analyzed to evaluate factors that predict undergraduate including dropping a course, earning a lower course grade and having a lower cumulative GPA. Responses from over 43,000 participants were included in the analysis.

According to Prichard, student health information about the importance of sleep is lacking on most university campuses.

"Sleep problems are not systematically addressed in the same way that substance abuse problems are," she said. "For colleges and universities, addressing problems early in a student's academic career can have a major economic benefit through increased retention."

More information: "What Is The Cost Of Poor Sleep For College Students? Calculating The Contribution to Academic Failures Using A Large National Sample," Sleep, 2014.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date 16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date 16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date 17 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 19 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.