Students who pull all nighters may have lower grades

<p>"A survey of 120 students at St. Lawrence University, a small liberal arts college in northern New York, found that students who have never pulled an all-nighter have average GPAs of 3.2, compared to 2.95 for those who have. The study, by assistant professor of psychology Pamela Thacher, is to be included in the January issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.</p>

<p>"It's not a big difference, but it's pretty striking," Thacher said. "I am primarily a sleep researcher and I know nobody thinks clearly at 4 in the morning. You think you do, but you can't."</p>

<p>A second study by Thacher, a clinical psychologist, had "extremely similar" results showing lower grades among the sleep skippers...."
All-nighters</a> may hurt grades -</p>

<p>I've never seen research like this, but the results have always seemed intuitive to me. Yes, sometimes work or problems come up that make an all-nighter unavoidable, but in my experience, most of the top students avoided them. On the other hand, those who pulled regular all-nighters tended to be procrastinators and hard party-goers. They got stuck working at 4am because they weren't doing it at other hours. (Of course, it should go without saying that these are gross generalizations.)</p>

<p>A friend of mine once did a psych study to find the correlation between caffeine-intake and GPA. I made the same assumption as I did with all-nighters: those who are filling themselves with coffee to stay up at all hours are probably hurting in the long-run. But apparently I was very wrong (at least according to her results)...I threw off all her data by drinking virtually zero caffeine and yet having a high GPA. Go figure.</p>

<p>Not long ago, I stayed in a house full of students who thought I was a lazy worker because I'd only ever pulled one academic all-nighter (the night before my senior thesis was due), while all of them pulled them pretty regularly. I laughed, but I couldn't figure out how to tactfully explain that no, I was just a decent planner who put a fair bit of effort into avoiding all-nighters...</p>

<p>Interesting article, NSM. Many students underestimate the value of healthy-living, especially when things like "I stayed up all night" or "I had to work straight through dinner" are treated like rites of passage. Thanks for sharing.</p>

<p>Rite of passage? Not me, I'm just lazy, stupid and love to torture myself.</p>

<p>It is a rite of passage to pull at least ONE all-nighter so you can live to tell it! I didn't until this past two weeks ago for a stats project I put off all semester and I didn't realize how long it was going to take to organize and calculate the data.. GAH! And I'm a senior!</p>

<p>Okay, that was very, very poorly planned in retrospective. In general, I don't pull all-nighters though I can stay up working on my history papers but I find that my brain gets all disorganized and it translates through my fingers so when that happens, I just shut off the laptop and go to bed to keep my paper from turning into a big mess.</p>

<p>There's a lurking variable, though.</p>

<p>People that don't pull all nighters are usually more studious to begin with. So the reason that they have a higher GPA isn't because they get sleep before an exam, but because they've done more work in their courses the entire time.</p>

<p>Pretty poor study, IMO.</p>

<p>I was up until 5:30am writing a paper, and I'm running around an A/A- cumulative grade.</p>

<p>I think people who pull all nighters have poor time management skills and aren't as motivated academically. They place more emphasis on socializing and partying , while they should be attempting to balance work and social life. Sucks for them that their GPA's are slightly lower. That's what they deserve.</p>

<p>Oh, and hey, I don't party at all. Ever.
Way to generalize guys!</p>

<p>Then I guess you just waste time playing Halo or World of Warcraft.</p>

<p>, I haven't played a video game since I was seven.</p>

<p>I agree that really motivated students usually don't have to pull all-nighters. In my own college experience, the all-nighters I pulled were mostly the result of procrastination.</p>

<p>On the other hand, there's a ton of research that shows impaired cognitive function when an individual is sleep-deprived.</p>

<p>Some all-nighters are more structural in nature - the architecture students I knew were often forced to pull all-nighters to do a good job on a 48 or 72 hour project.</p>

<p>Yeah, there are some unfounded and gross generalizations here. ;) First of all, school today tends to overwork students far too much. Second, there are plenty of students who simply have passion for things that are not busy work and school related--whether it be reading or extra curriculars.</p>

<p>Of course these are generalizations. That's what this study is about: generalizing the GPA's of students who have pulled an all-nighter vs. those who never have. </p>

<p>There are exceptions to every rule. I knew brilliant students who were terrible procrastinators, starting their "A" papers hours before class; I also knew lazy, poor students who would blow off any assignment if it got in the way of gaming or nap-time. </p>

<p>Not really the point, though...</p>

<p>I would question whether the study in this article was sufficiently extensive, or the sample sufficiently representative to really rely on the results, but I wouldn't blow it off on the basis of knowing a handful of counter-examples.</p>

<p>The important part is that the people making and relying on these generalizations--not only the researchers, but also the posters here--recognize that they're doing so.</p>

<p>There are a lot of other variables. It's not fair to state a causal effect between pulling all-nighters and getting lower grades.</p>

<p>I agree with, it seems as a generalization, since they are deducing it from 120 students only...other factors come into play as well..</p>

<p>I very often pulled all-nighters and always had a 4.0. =)</p>

<p>sometimes people pull off all-nighters not just because they have been partying all night but because of procrastination and/or the heavy workload
but i still find these statistics very interesting</p>

<p>some motivated students (like me) are like owls who can function better at night. But it is true that only ppl who cram everything pull off all-nighters. Smart people know that 48 hours with no sleep is devastating for efficiency. (I've done this once. The first day you seem to be hyped up, and you think that you can pull this off one more time.... Next day, you're brain practically refuses to work and if you don't get sleep, you go mad)</p>

<p>I have a very odd sleeping pattern. Most of my classes don't start until the afternoon, so I usually work until around 6 AM and sleep until 1 (my first class). Usually take another nap around 5. I prefer this because there's little distraction at 4 in the morning and there really is nothing else to do but work.</p>

<p>To everyone who claims that "I pull all nighters all the time and still get all As."</p>

<p>Yes, sure. But imagine how much better off you'd be academically if you DIDN'T pull all nighters.</p>