WESTCHESTER, Ill. - A common practice among many college students involves "pulling all-nighters", or a single night of total sleep deprivation, a practice associated with lower grade-point averages compared to those who make time for sleep, according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
"Sleep in college students is generally inadequate, irregular and of poor quality. As sleep quality and quantity decrease, academic performance worsens. The data collected in this study indicate that the use of a single night of total sleep deprivation is not an effective practice for achieving academic goals," said Pamela Thacher, PhD, of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, who authored the study.
The findings are based on interviews with 111 students at St. Lawrence University.
The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and optimum performance.
The annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.
More than 1,000 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The four-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.