Lack of Sleep Has a Direct Effect on a Student’s GPA Gilbert, S. P. , & Weaver, C. (2010). Sleep Quality and Academic Performance in University Students: A Wake-Up Call for College Psychologists. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 24(10), 295-306. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from the SocIndex database. Key Terms Defined GPA: Grade Point Average DWI: Dropped, Withdraw, Incomplete (Classes) GDI: Goldberg Depression Inventory PSQI: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Summary
This study was done to identify the relationship between sleep deprivation and a student’s academic performance in areas such as GPA, class attendance, and incomplete assignments. 557 people were used for this with 35. 7% being male and 64. 3% being female. And the average age of the subjects being 19. The participants of the study were asked to complete several surveys to determine if they qualified for the study. A demographic survey asked about their GPA and the courses they dropped, withdrew from, or failed to complete. This was done to judge the student’s previous academic levels.
Next, they took what is called the GDI to determine the student’s levels of depression. Students who showed abnormally high levels of depression were removed from the study to be further analyzed. The students remaining had scores of average or below average levels of depression. The final test was the PSQI, which is a self-report survey to determine the subjects sleep patterns. Using these self-report surveys the conductors of the experiment were able to determine that there is a relationship between quality of sleep and academic performance. Significance
This study is the first known to have found a direct relationship between poor academic performance and poor sleep quality using a large sample size. Previous studies used smaller groups and had not accounted for depression as a factor in poor academic performance. This study also found that the quality of sleep many students experience is well below ideal and that this affects the GPAs of females more so than males although the reason behind this could not be determined. Socially this information can be used when counseling students experiencing poor academic performance, but show no signs of depression.
Evaluation The authors presented the procedures and results of this study very effectively, and the materials were made extremely easy to understand. I believe the study could have been more in depth and accurate if actual sleep studies were conducted along with the self-report surveys. Along the same lines, a flaw in the study is that the researchers opened up the possibility of false reporting by only using the surveys and trusting the students to be completely honest. If I were to use two words to describe this article they would be “expected” and “well-planned”. Expected” is referring to the results of the study. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that there is a connection between the quality of sleep and academic performance, however they expound upon that assumption and find more in depth results in the study. As for “well-planned” it is a word used to describe the procedures used to carry out the study. Eliminating depression as a variable was impressive foresight on the researchers part and is a large part of what makes this study so effective. Conclusion
This article has thoroughly increased my knowledge of the extent of sleep’s effect on academic performance. While I hypothesized in my own mind that there was a connection, I had no idea how strong. I also think this article has helped me to understand how to help students struggling with academic performance and how to try to figure out all the possible issues instead of issuing a stereotypical label such as laziness. I believe further research should investigate the causes of this decreased quality of sleep and possible cures if it is a medical or biological issue.