Student sleeping on campus. Quinn McMordrey, Business Major, Junior. (James Richards, Scroll Photography)

How does sleep affect students?

Sleep is one of the most basic necessities for humans to stay healthy and alert.

College students are one of the most sleep-deprived groups in the world population. Research by Brown University says that about 73 percent of students report sleep problems, according to

Sleep has a definite correlation with GPAs, according to

Sleep affects someone’s ability to stay focused throughout the day, which means they have a hard time getting the information they need to get the highest grades they can, according to

Sleep not only refreshes the mind but can make you smarter. The more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to

Therefore, pulling an all-nighter, a common practice at college during finals week, decreases the ability to learn new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation, according to

Sleep strengthens the immune system, improves people’s moods and allows for normal cognitive function, according to 

Student sleeping on campus. Haylee Bateman, Health Science Major, Freshman. (James Richards, Scroll Photography)

JAMES RICHARDS | Scroll Photography

Students should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but more than 50 percent of college students get less than seven hours of sleep each night, according to

“I strongly believe in getting at the minimum of seven hours of sleep in order to function normally for the day,” said Tyler Swenson, a senior studying business management.

“This includes being actively alert in classes and doing homework without nodding your head,” Swenson said. “Without enough sleep, I can honestly say from personal experience that my day is to the contrary of a good day.”

Sleep deprivation doesn’t leave the body with a lot to work with when it comes to staying focused throughout a full school day.

“Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day,” said James R. Oelschlager, Psy.D., in his article on students and sleep patterns. “It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance, and reduced ability to carry out math calculations.”

According to, if you’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep, you should try these three things:

  1. Stop using technology about 30 minutes before you go to bed.
  2. On the weekends, sleep an hour longer than you usually do.
  3. Try taking melatonin, a pill that regulates your sleep cycle, before going to bed.

Sleep is important for a student’s GPA, but it’s also important for their health.

Sleeping disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, parasomnias, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy can have very negative impacts on a person’s health, according to

Sleeping disorders cause many physical and mental health problems such as depression, irritability, weight gain, nightmares, sleep walking, teeth grinding and impaired school performance, according to

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