Time for bed

“Some professors would have been offended, but not Pamela Thacher. As she noticed a trio of students dozing off during her psychology class at St Lawrence University in New York State, she spied a research opportunity. ‘If you’ve ever stood in front of a class of 20-year-olds and had three of them fall asleep sitting up, you start to think, is it me? So I was trying to strategise: do I wake the students up? I asked one of them (about it), and he said he had stayed up all night. He told me that was how he kept his grades up.’ The study Thacher was inspired to undertake as a result of the trio’s snores found that the opposite was true. By comparing the sleep patterns and academic records of 111 undergraduates, she found that those who fuelled themselves with caffeine and studied late into the night, or even ‘pulled all-nighters’ (in American campus jargon), had lower grade-point averages than those who got enough sleep. ‘Once you start getting less sleep, you are less able to cognitively cope with the demands of college,’ Thacher says …” (more)

[Jon Marcus, THE, 5 February]

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