Does The Amount Of Sleep You Get Affect Your GPA?

“Im going to stay up all night to study” is a common phrase you hear college students say before a big exam. Ideally, studying more seems like it would boost your grade. However is this really beneficial? I have really wondered how our brains function when our bodies are running on no sleep. Can we still think and act clearly and make proper decisions? Or does being tired impair our judgment and test taking ability? I know that for me, I struggle answering questions and holding a conversation when I am tired.

At one survey study done on high school students, it was reported that about 2/3 of them do not get a sufficient amount of sleep. The National Sleep foundation claims that 8 hours of nightly sleep is considered moderately sufficient. (Curcio)

tired-student-at-booksIt is hard to find hard evidence in experiments correlating amount of sleep and grades. Certain experiments call for many flaws, such as self-reports lacking verification, different grade biases and scales, and general intelligence/IQ. Multiple variables would need to be factored for in order to gain more accurate results.

In observational study conducted on 148 college students all enrolled in the same phycology class, with the causal variable being sleep duration, and the result variable being GPA, it was hypothesized that longer amounts of sleep will result in higher grades. 7-8 hours was considered average, and 9 or more was long. Third variables included age and gender, and the study concluded that these did not have a correlation to GPA. It did show though that the average of the long-sleepers GPA was a 3.4, the short sleepers was a 2.74, and the average, 3.01. (Kelly) This evidence supports the original hypothesis that more sleep does have a positive relationship with grades.

poor-report-card-because-of-poor-sleepA self-reporting survey done by Wolfson and Carskadon measured 3000 high school students’ grades and sleeping trends. It concluded that the students with the higher GPAs tended to have better sleeping patterns, and getting a larger amount of rest than those with lower GPAs. The evidence from a study like this would be more strongly supported if meta-analyses were done confirming the same results. However, there have been many other studies that have conclusions on the contrary. In another survey testing relationship between grades and sleep times, 1200 students from 6th-12th grade were asked to self report GPAs and their sleeping tendencies. Researches found no strong correlation that lack of sleep would decrease GPA. (Curcio)

Overall, it is up to each individual how much sleep they chose to get. Other things could prevent one from sleeping as desired, such as breathing problems, or insomnia, so some people may not even be at fault for lacking sufficient sleep. Neurologists and scientists would hands down advise at least 8 hours of sleep in order for our brains to function to their full potential, however each person is very different when it comes to sleep, and how they preform academically. Other factors need to be considered before concluding that more sleep and higher grades are directly correlated.




4 thoughts on “Does The Amount Of Sleep You Get Affect Your GPA?

  1. Candace Burke

    I found this post very interesting. Like Andrew said in class, no scientists have really found out why we need to sleep in order to survive. I never thought about how sleeping could affect your GPA rather than the fact that you are either sleeping through study time or are so sleep deprived that you cannot perform well on tests. Here is a link I found that shows an adequate sleep cycle for a college student

  2. Kate Billings

    This post is interesting because I believe that we all need to get 8 hours of sleep and that if everyone got that amount of sleep we would do better in school. Like you mentioned in your post, the longer the sleep the better the gpa seemed to be. I just don’t think that it it realistic to think that students, especially college students, will get 8 hours of sleep. Like you wrote, more sleep and a better gpa have a positive correlation but I still think that plenty of people who don’t get enough sleep have good grades.

  3. Alexander J Pulice

    I found this post very interesting based on your final conclusion. The topic of sleep is something that still puzzles scientists. An interesting thing to note is that while 8 hours of sleep a night is recommended, it is impossible to catchup on sleep. for example, if you sleep 6 hours one night, sleeping 10 hours the next won’t be the same as sleeping 8 both nights. In fact sleeping more to “catch up” might actually make you more tired

    1. Olivia Erb

      For as long as I can remember I’ve always been told to get a good nights rest. But come to think of it what does a good nights rest really entail? No one has ever told me the exact amount of hours I need to sleep at night to feel good the next day. This is why I like your post I agree with what you said about you can get too much sleep. I know for a fact that if I don’t sleep because I am up all night studying I do no do well on the exam. But when I do get between 6-8 hours of sleep I feel very energized and ready to go. Sleep definitely is a key factor in how high your GPA . I have pulled an all nighter or two in my life and I always felt awful the next day so I can’t even imagine trying to think about school work and exams after being awake for multiple hours at a time. Sleep is still a thing that scientists haven’t quite figured out yet but I can guarantee if you don’t get enough sleep your GPA will not be great.
      Here is a link to a good article I found about sleep deprivation in college students:

Leave a Reply