Tags: sleep | loss | academic | grades

Sacrificing Sleep to Study is Counter-productive

Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:04 AM

Pulling an all-nighter may be standard practice for many high school cramming for a test. But new research shows sacrificing sleep to study is counterproductive and generally leads to poorer academic performance.
The study, conducted by University of California-Los Angeles researchers and published in the journal Child Development, found students who lose sleep to study more than usual are far more likely to have academic problems the following day – regardless of how much he or she hits the books.
Because students tend to increasingly sacrifice sleep time for studying in the latter years of high school, this negative dynamic becomes more and more prevalent over time.
"Academic success may depend on finding strategies to avoid having to give up sleep to study, such as maintaining a consistent study schedule across days, using school time as efficiently as possible, and sacrificing time spent on other, less essential activities," said UCLA researcher Andrew J. Fuligni. "Sacrificing sleep for extra study time is counterproductive."
For the study, Fuligni and colleagues examined daily and yearly variations in academic performance of 535 students who sacrifice sleep to study. For two weeks in each of the 9th, 10th, and 12th grades, the students from several Los Angeles-area high schools reported in diaries how much they studied, how long they slept, and whether or not they experienced two academic problems – such as not understanding a lesson or scoring poorly on a test, quiz, or homework.
Although the researchers expected late-night studying that cut into sleep time hurt students' understanding of their lessons, they were surprised to find it also resulted in poorer scores on tests, quizzes, and homework assignments.
"Although these nights of extra studying may seem necessary, they can come at a cost," Fuligni explained.

© HealthDay

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Pulling an all-nighter generally leads to poorer academic performance the next day.
Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:04 AM
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