SLEEP: Night Owls May Have Lower Grades in College

Evening chronotypes have lower GPA in senior year of high school and in freshman year

WEDNESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep hygiene is associated with lower grades among seniors in high school and college students, according to a study presented at the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, held from June 11 to 15 in Minneapolis.

Jennifer J. Peszka, Ph.D., from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., and colleagues assessed sleep hygiene and chronotype in students from their senior year in high school to college graduation, and the correlation with academic performance over time. Participants gave access to their academic records and filled out questionnaires regarding their sleep at the end of high school (89 students), and the freshman (34 students) and senior years (43 students) of college.

The investigators found that poor sleep hygiene in high school was correlated with a significantly lower grade point average (GPA). Sleep hygiene declined on entering college and poor sleep hygiene was likely to continue through the senior year. Worsening of sleep hygiene during college was correlated with a greater decrease in GPA, with evening types displaying a significantly higher GPA decrease moving from high school to college and poorer freshman GPA than morning and intermediate types combined. By the senior year in college, evening types shifted significantly more toward morning chronotypes and the difference in GPA between chronotypes was not significant.

"Declines in sleep hygiene across the college years were associated with declines in grades. Evening chronotype was associated with a decline in academic performance from high school to college. A shift from evening toward morning type through college was associated with grade improvement," the authors write.

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