All-Nighters All Wrong for Top Grades
Students Who Study All Night Tend to Have Lower Grade Point Averages
WebMD News Archive
Dec. 7, 2007 -- Just in time for final exams, a new study shows that pulling
an all-nighter to study isn't the wisest idea.
Students who study all night tend to have lower grade point averages than
those who don't, according to Pamela Thacher, PhD.
Thacher, an assistant professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University in
Canton, N.Y., studied 120 college students at a four-year liberal arts
Most of the students -- 60% -- reported pulling at least one all-nighter
while at college. Those students also had lower GPAs than their well-rested
"You can't do your best work when you're sleep deprived," Thacher
says in a university news release.
There were some exceptions. Thacher notes that a minority of students who
had pulled more than one all-nighter "maintain excellent GPAs."
But for most students, studying all night "is not an effective practice
for learning and achieving academic goals," writes Thacher.
She dug a little deeper to see if procrastination was to blame. But data
from 111 students show that the students weren't staying up all night to study
because they had blown off earlier study sessions.
Thacher's findings are scheduled to appear in the January 2008 edition of
Behavioral Sleep Medicine, according to a St. Lawrence University news