Essays on Does the Number of Hours of Nightly Sleep Affect College Student's GPA Research Paper

The paper "Does the Number of Hours of Nightly Sleep Affect College Student's GPA" is a wonderful example of a research paper on health sciences and medicine.
There has always been much focus on the role of sleep time and schedule in the student’s academic outcomes. This study aims at the importance of sleep habits during student life and their impact on the students’ ability to learn and perform in a much-improved way. The methodology includes a well-planned questionnaire distributed among students of a reputed college. Results were as expected and the findings implied that students who took a good sleep at night performed well than those who slept less.
Hypothesis
Students getting at least eight hours of sleep each night will have higher GPAs than students who get less than eight hours of sleep.
Introduction
Sleep is when the body is given time to take a break from everything and rest. It is the time when the body recharges itself and gets into a state wherein it would prioritize repairing itself and recovering itself for a day of continuous functioning and work. Sleep, or lack of it, has consequences for both males and females. For college students who are living in a dorm and sleeping less than six hours, the least would mean they would have fluctuations in their health, their thinking, and their emotional state. This would lead to problems with concentration with school work and sooner or later low grades.
The purpose of this research is to increase our understanding of the importance of sleep in a student’s life and the worse consequences he may face due to lack of it. The research question was that- does the number of hours of nightly sleep affect college student's GPA? In other words, do the students who sleep for at least eight hours at night get higher GPAs than those who sleep for less than eight hours? I predicted that although the burden of studies might make it difficult for a student to complete a total of eight-hour sleep, yet that much sleep was very beneficial for him to get a higher GPA.

Background
Much helpful research has been conducted in the past regarding the role of sleep in academic performance. Gray and Watson studied the associations between personality traits and sleep and their combined effect on academic performance. They found that sleep quantity, quality and schedule had great impacts on a student’s wellbeing, psychological functioning and conscientiousness. Taras and Potts-Datema concluded that poor quality of sleep has a worsening effect on how well students are able to learn which badly affects their academic outcomes. However, Eliasson, Lettieri and Eliasson came to the conclusion in their research that sleep schedule correlated more closely with academic performance than total sleep time did.
In support of the research conducted in the past, this paper is going to re-interpret the understanding of the significant role of sleep in academic performance.
Methodology
Participants
There were 200 participants participating in the research. 51.5% of them were male and 48.5% were female. They were randomly chosen college students at eh UNC – C. The mean of their ages would be 17.
Research Design
The research activity involved the distribution of a questionnaire-based survey. The questionnaire was supposed to gather thorough information on the participants’ sleep habits. They were to be asked about the average number of hours of sleep they get each night, and also about their overall GPA. Apart from this necessary information and for the sake of knowledge, they were asked about their sleep schedule including naps and reasons for missing sleep, study habits, and any stimulant use. Mainly I worked with three sleep time categories (less than 6 hours; 6-8 hours; and, 8 hours or above). I grouped the students under these categories and calculated the mean GPA for each category.
Procedure
I thoughtfully planned the closed and open-ended questions that were to be included in the questionnaire survey. The whole process took around two weeks, preparing for the questions, taking appointments, visiting the college and documenting results.
Results
Out of 200 participants, 67 belonged to category 1 (with sleep time less than 6 hours); 58 belonged to category 2 (with sleep time between 6 to 8 hours); and, 75 belonged to category 3 (with sleep time more than 8 hours). Average GPAs for all the three categories were calculated and the results showed that students of category 1 had average GPA of 2.3; those of category 2 had average GPA of 2.7; and, those of category 3 had average GPA of 3.2 (see Table 1).
Conclusion/Discussion
The results of the research reveal that students who get at least eight hours of sleep each night have higher GPAs than those who get less than eight hours of sleep. Furthermore, students who get less than six hours have the lowest average GPA. The results supported my hypothesis and were very much in accordance with my expectations. They related to my prediction that total sleep time is very closely linked with academic outcomes. This research has very important implications for interventions that target students’ sleep habits with the intention of improving their academic performance.

Sleep Category 1
(less than 6 hours)
Males - 35
Females - 32
Average GPA* - 2.3
Sleep Category 2
(6-8 hours)
Males - 23
Females - 35
Average GPA* - 2.7
Sleep Category 3
(8 hours or above)
Males - 45
Females - 30
Average GPA* - 3.2
Table 1: Results
*GPA is calculated out of Total Grade Point of 4.00.

References

Eliasson, Arne H., Lettieri, Christopher J., and Arn H. Eliasson. “Early to Bed, Early to Rise! Sleep Habits and Academic Performance in College Students.” Sleep and Breathing 14.1 (2009): 71-75.

Gray, Elizabeth, K. and David Watson. “General and Specific Traits of Personality and Their Relation to Sleep and Academic Performance.” Journal of Personality 70 (2001): 177–206.

Taras, Howard and William Potts-Datema. “Sleep and Student Performance at School.” Journal of School Health 75 (2005): 248–254.