How Sleep Habits Are Correlated To Academic Performance Literature Review


Determinants of Sleep Quality in College Students

Reference: Feifei Wang, va Br, (2021) Determinants of sleep quality in college students: A literature review, Explore, Volume 17, Issue 2, 2021,Pages 170-177, ISSN 1550-8307, (

Overview: This academic article looks to detail the common element of sleep quality within college students. Here, the authors leverage a variety of academic sources such as PubMed, Web of Science, and other library databases to examine sleep quality factors and outcomes for college students. The authors classified roughly 110 studies into determinates that impacted sleep quality. Here the authors coded each research article within the three databases. They were then separated into several categories based on their risk factors. A snippet of the consideration criteria is listed below

Figure 1

From the review of the academic literature, the authors found that sleep quality is a large contributor to academic outcomes for students. Interestingly the authors found that caffeine and energy drink intake heavily impacted sleep quality for college students. Here, students received less consistent outcomes and experienced irregular sleep patterns within a highly stressful environment. Finally the authors found that eating habits also have a strong correlation to sleep patterns amount students. Overall, the authors attempted to identify different risk factors that could adversely impact sleep patterns from college students. By reviewing over 110 academic studies, they were able to find common threads or themes that impacted sleep patterns for college students. These themes consisted heavily of sleep patterns, eating habits, and caffeine intake. Controlling for these variables students were better able to improve their overall academic outcomes as they were better able to control their sleep patterns.

The shortcomings of this literature are that it does not conduct any primary research. Instead, it relies on the work of other authors and their methodology. Although the authors do a fine job of segmenting the research by category, it is still difficult to compare nearly 110 different academic articles for consistency. This is a shortcoming as the authors have not done their own research into the matter and are instead relying on others to provide critical inputs into their overall methodology. The advantage of this study relative to the others is its reliance on academic studies already approved and published. This provides a solid foundation by which to categorize and review previously conducted research. A weakness as compared to other articles is that less primary research is being conducted on the part of the authors who are relying on the work and findings of others.

Stress and Burnout Among Graduate Students

Reference: Allen, H. K., Barrall, A. L., Vincent, K. B., & Arria, A. M. (2021). Stress and Burnout Among Graduate Students: Moderation by Sleep Duration and Quality.International journal of behavioral medicine,28(1), 2128.

Overview: This academic study looks to research the high levels of stress amount graduate students and how sleep impacts outcomes for these students. Here, the research attempts to explain the relationship between stress, burnout and sleep deprivation among graduate students. Here, the study took a sample of 2700 master's, doctoral, and professional graduate students from two large, public universities completed an online survey. They then ran linear regression models to determine the relationship to stress and burnout.

To begin, although the sample size is large, it is heavily skewed towards only two universities. This does not represent a broad and diversified approach towards sampling. As a result, the outcomes form the study may not be indicative of the overall graduate student population as only two public universities were reviewed.

The survey and regression model found that graduate and doctoral students slept an average of 6 hours per night. The survey also indicated that 62% self-reported that they experienced good sleep quality. From these inputs the authors were able to determine that exhaustion had a very significant positive correlation to stress, and inefficiencies. As expected, this correlation between stress and exhaustion diminished as the student was able to sleep longer. This indicates that the relationship between stress and exhaustion is very weak when students are able to obtain high quality sleep. Overall the...…found a relation of sleep quality towards anxiety and deviance in adolescent children. The study found that sleep quality was much more important than quantity of sleep for adolescent children. Here, the student was able to substantiate the sleep-mood link by adapting it to adolescent study. An advantage of this study is that it heavily focuses on behavioral sleep habits that have been developed over time. The prior students often look at current circumstances but do not account for sleep habits or behaviors that have developed prior to entering college. This study is important as it looks to determine the overall link between sleep habits and behaviors through time, prior to the student reaching college. This is important as it can provide information as to how to pre-emptively improve sleep behaviors in teenagers prior to their acceptance ito college.

Summary of Research Articles and Gaps in Research

From a review of the research, there appears to be a large amount of evidence that supports a correlation between sleep and academic performance. The research above has also provided evidence related to multiculturalism and its impact on sleep and academic performance. Namely, the studies show that foreign born students often work slightly longer, socialize less, and have slightly better academic performance when controlling for sleep habits. Likewise, the studies have also accounted for the development of sleep habits during adolescent years and how it impacts subsequent behavior in college years.

As it relates to gaps in research, there has not been significant research to determine how a hybrid learning environment can impact sleep habits and academic performance. This is a particularly interesting topic considering that the COVID-19 environment has forced students into a fully online or hybrid learning environment. This can impact sleeping habits and academic performance materially as students now has less structure and more freedom within their overall academic affairs. This combined with the stress and adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic could have an impact on both sleep quality and academic performance. This is a significant gap in research as its implications can…

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