• Beth & Tim Manners

‘Sleep Hygiene’ Improves Academic Performance

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

The New York Times: “College students who fail to adopt more wholesome sleep habits are more likely to find themselves unable to handle their chosen course load and less likely to reach their academic potential, according to a national study of more than 55,000 college students. The study, by Monica E. Hartmann and Dr. J. Roxanne Prichard of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., found that for each additional day of sleep disturbance a college student experienced each week, the likelihood of dropping a course rose by 10 percent and grade point average fell by 0.02, even when most other factors known to influence academic success were taken into account.”


Dr. Prichard recommends “practicing good ‘sleep hygiene’ — the behavioral measures that can help to assure a full and restful night’s sleep. She and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine offer these suggestions: Go to bed and get up every day at approximately the same time, weekends included. Create a relaxing bedroom setting and follow a consistent bedtime routine. Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine and any medication with stimulant effects at least three hours before bedtime. Don’t stay up late to cram for an exam or finish homework. If your outside activities are too time-consuming, try to cut back on those that are expendable.”


Also: “If possible, keep all electronics — computer, TV, cellphone, etc. — outside the bedroom, and avoid using them just before bedtime. Don’t go to bed hungry, but avoid eating a big meal before bed. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime. Instead, do a calming activity like light reading or meditation.Keep the bedroom quiet, dark and cool for sleeping. If outside light or noise is disturbing, consider using light-blocking shades or a white noise machine.”

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