WESTCHESTER, Ill. - Morningness is a predictor of better grades in college, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
The study, authored by Kendry Clay, of the University of North Texas, focused on 824 undergraduate students who were enrolled in psychology classes. The subjects completed a health survey which included questions regarding sleep habits and aspects of daytime functioning.
According to the results, college students who are evening types had lower GPAs, while those who are morning types had higher GPAs.
"The finding that college students who are evening types have lower GPAs is a very important finding, sure to make its way into undergraduate psychology texts in the near future, along with the research showing that memory is improved by sleep," said Daniel J. Taylor, PhD, of the University of North Texas, Ms. Clay's faculty mentor, a co-author, and who developed the concept for this study. "Further, these results suggest that it might be possible to improve academic performance by using chronotherapy to help students entrain their biological clock to become more morning types."
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers the following tips on how to get a good night's sleep:
- Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
- Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
- Get a full night's sleep every night.
- Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
- Do not stay up all hours of the night to "cram" for an exam, do homework, etc. If after-school activities are proving to be too time-consuming, consider cutting back on these activities.
- Keep computers and TVs out of the bedroom.
- Do not go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal before bedtime either.
- Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
Those who suspect that they might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician or a sleep specialist.
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 AASM and the Sleep Research Society. The three-and-a-half-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.
SleepEducation.com, a patient education Web site created by the AASM, provides information about various sleep disorders, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep facilities.