Based on research by Tavernier & Willoughby. Written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS.
Do you ever find yourself stressed, with so much work that you have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep? It is common for students to report a lack of sleep when they are focused on tests and assignments.
Drs. Tavernier and Willoughby evaluated 942 university students to find out what factors over time may predict the quality and amount of sleep. Beginning in their freshman year, the students were surveyed each year for three years. Although higher academic achievement predicted shorter sleep duration during the week, it also predicted a better overall sleep quality. Surprisingly, lack of sleep did not appear to affect student’s overall quality of sleep although better friendship quality did. Finally, inner turmoil measures (such as depression, anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem) were predictors for sleep problems, and sleep problems predicted these negative emotions. Overall, positive social and academic interactions were more strongly associated with sleep quality rather than sleep duration.
This study reveals the importance of sleep quality over long sleeps, and how better friendships and academic achievement can contribute to it. While you’re working hard completing assignments and going to class, reach out to others in friendship! With success in school and relationships, you’ll sleep like a baby!
Tavernier, R., & Willoughby, T. (2014). Bidirectional associations between sleep (quality and duration) and psychosocial functioning across the university years. Developmental Psychology, 50(3), 674.