Sunday, December 16, 2007

JunkMale Muses About Sleep

Study shows that students who pull all-nighters generally have lower GPAs.

(study only polled 120 students at a liberal arts college. ^_~ I will note that you might find more telling (or less telling) results if you polled more than 120 students, or if you polled at a university with an engineering school)

As I mention in Fact 17 here, I have never pulled an all-nighter before. The one time I tried to do it, it was for a computer programming class (the Java portion of a MATLAB/Java course). I don't remember if it was for a big project or just a homework assignment, but earlier that day, I made up my mind that I would stay up as late as I had to. Come midnight, I'm finding that my mind is way too fuzzy and I'm not getting a thing done. So I decided I would just turn in an incomplete Java program and absorb the bad grade. I don't remember the grade I got on that assignment, but I got a B in that class.

Perhaps if I had been a computer science major, I would've pulled a few all-nighters. Being a physics major, I just never felt the need to stay up all night to finish something. Did I just have really good time management skills? I don't know. But I do know that all throughout college and beyond, I placed a very high priority on getting enough sleep per night (about 8 hours for me). This priority didn't mesh well with some over-zealous-without-knowledge/maturity members of my then-church's campus ministry. I heard more than one person say "I'll sleep when I'm dead." I will mention now that it is a great pet peeve of mine when someone questions my need for 8 hours of sleep a night, just because they claim they don't need 8 hours a night.

If you claim to need only 5 hours of sleep per night but take naps whenever you have a spare nanosecond, I daresay you need more than 5 hours. Also, if you claim to need something like 5 hours a night, but then sleep until 3 PM on Saturdays, I would think that you are not getting enough sleep on weeknights. Harumph :p !

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7 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ron and Ginny

    You preach it, brother! ;-)

    (I am really enjoying this blog...)


  • Iris

    I am proud to say that I never pulled an all-nighter, either. I know I wouldn't be able to retain the information that late at night. I actually never stayed up late to study, ever...(which would explain my mediocre grades)....N-E-WHO.....looks like I better improve on my study habits this time around.

    I too, need my 7-8 hours. If I get 9, I feel blah.

  • Alan

    Maybe the cause of the lower GPA is the same as the cause for having to pull all-nighters. Those who have time for sleep are the ones who are disciplined enough to get the work done before bedtime.

  • Ewokgirl

    Hmmm... well, I had a fairly high GPA, and I frequently pulled all-nighters. I work best under pressure (or so I tell my procrastinating self), so as an English major, I often wrote 10+ page essays, literary analyses, and research papers the night before the due date. Didn't hurt my grades at all.

    But these days, there's no way I could pull that off. When I hit about 23, I ceased being able to get by with little sleep. Now I have to have 8 hours or I'm cranky and headachy.

  • Laura

    Well, I studied Computer Science, and I remember one semester where we had group projects due at 8am on Fridays. Our group had no time in common to work except overnight, so we'd work individually during the week and then put the pieces together from 5pm Thursday until about 7:59am on Friday. I went back to my dorm afterwards and slept for a couple of hours, until I had to get up to go to the mandatory lab for that class at 11am. Came back to my dorm, ate lunch, and slept for another 5 hours or so, until I had to get up, eat dinner, and leave for devotional. This went on every week for a few months.

    Incidentally, that was the semester I crushed my finger in the door at 4am as I leaving my dorm room to debug something with my teammates. (I had no feeling in that finger for at least a week.) Also the semester I twisted my ankle climbing down from my bunk bed to leave for the lab. My GPA was lower than usual that semester, but what I remember most was being in pain a lot more. I'm very klutzy when I don't get my 9 hours. (Yes, 9. They do say people need an *average* of 8 hours, don't they? That means some of us need more.)

    By the way, one of my favorite things about the working world is that everyone is available during the day to work on projects. It's incredible.

    I slept 9 hours last night.

  • Harmony's Mom

    I can vouch that Laura gets her sleep need from Alan. I need about 7-8 hours, but the older I get, the more sleep I seem to need. I did stay up some nights in college to cram for an Organic Chemistry exam. It didn't seem to help so I stopped doing it. I got decent grades (over 3.0). Now that I am working on my Masters I do have to stay up occasionally to write a paper, but I try not to do it very often (mostly to midnight). You just loose your mental sharpness if you don't get enough sleep.

  • Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks

    Sleep? Yes, I'll take some. Thank you.