You may not need 8 hours per night of sleep for optimal academic performance.
August 6, 2014
By Dr. R. Ryan Patel DO, FAPA.,
Psychiatrist at The Ohio State University Counseling and Consultation Service
In a large study1 published in 2013, researchers examined self-reported sleeping habits of about 160,000 users of Lumnosity® who took spatial-memory and matching tests and about 127,000 users who took an arithmetic test. Optimal cognitive performance occurred at 7 hours per night of sleep, with worse performance among those with more or less sleep.
While you may not need exactly 8 hours of sleep per night and guidelines for optimal sleep are likely to be updated in the future2. It is however, important to keep in mind that not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, and too little sleep, just as too much sleep can impact your brain and academic performance.
As the new semester approaches, have you considered how sleep is impacting your academic performance, and by how much? What will you do differently?
- Sternberg, et al. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7: 292. Published online Jun 20, 2013. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00292. The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging.