Want to Succeed in College? Sleep on it.

Jennifer PeszkaDr. Jennifer PeszkaCONWAY, Ark. (June 15, 2011) – Hendrix College psychology professor Dr. Jennifer Peszka has contributed to two scientific studies being presented at SLEEP, an annual meeting sponsored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society that brings together over 5,000 leading clinicians and scientists in the field of sleep medicine and research.

Peszka was the lead author of the study “Sleep Hygiene, Chronotype, and Academic Performance during the Transition from High School through Four Years of College.”

In this study, Peszka and her co-authors investigated the relationship between sleep hygiene and academic performance and found that poor sleep hygiene led to lower GPAs during the first year of college, especially in students with an evening chronotype, or preference for working late at night as opposed to in the morning.

By senior year, however, the study showed that differences in GPA between chronotypes had disappeared.

According to Peszka, the study has practical applications.

“You can’t change your chronotype (lark, owl, regular robin), but you can recognize that you may be at a disadvantage because of your chronotype and take steps to compensate,” said Peszka.

Peszka also co-authored the study “The Relationship between Social Cognition & Sleepiness among College Students” which found a positive correlation between sleepiness and counterfactual thinking and displaced aggression.

The abstracts for Dr. Peszka’s studies can be found at http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstractSupplement.aspx on pages 81 and 69.

Hendrix, founded in 1876, is a selective, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is featured in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 371 colleges, was identified as the nation’s top “Up and Coming” liberal arts college for 2011 by U.S. News and World Report, and is ranked among 45 “Best Buy” colleges by the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.