In an EconoTimes report, Dagmara Dimitriou discusses research that shows the connection between sleep and academic performance.
In a recent study involving 48 students between 16 and 19-years-old recruited through an independent sixth form college in central London, my colleagues and I at the Lifespan Learning and Sleep Laboratory at UCL examined the link between sleep, academic performance and environmental factors.
Our results showed that the majority of the teenagers achieved just over seven hours of sleep, with an average bedtime at 11.37pm. Our study showed that a longer amount of sleep and earlier bedtimes – measures of sleep quantity – were most strongly correlated with better academic results obtained by the students on a number of tests taken at school. In contrast, measures that were indicative of sleep quality were mostly linked with students’ performances on verbal reasoning tests and on grade point averages on tests at school.
So it appears from our results that “longer sleep” is more closely related to academic performance, while “good night sleep” is more closely related to overall cognitive processing.
Our study also confirms findings from previous research showing that teenagers are getting at least two to three hours less sleep than is needed for their optimal brain development and a healthy lifestyle.