College students who sleep less than 7 hours a night get 50% lower grades, ...

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College students who get at least seven hours of sleep every night have better grades, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that getting six-and-a-half hours of sleep every night resulted in grades that were 50 percent lower than students who averaged just one more hour of shut-eye each night.

However, there is a cutoff time. Students who went to bed after 2am performed worse on tests, even if they got seven hours of sleep.

The team, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) says the findings add further evidence to why lack of sleep is harmful and how important it is to stress the value of sleep for their success to students.

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that college students who went to bed at 2am, even if they got seven hours of sleep, performed worse on exams (file image)

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that college students who went to bed at 2am, even if they got seven hours of sleep, performed worse on exams (file image)

The study, published in the journal Science of Learning, originally began as research on whether or not there was a correlation between physical exercise and academic performance.

All of the students in a chemistry class at MIT wore Fitbits and one-fourth of them were enrolled in an intense fitness class.

However, there was no difference in test performance between the group that did take the class and the group that didn't.

'What we found at the end of the day was zero correlation with fitness, which I must say was disappointing since I believed, and still believe, there is a tremendous positive impact of exercise on cognitive performance,' said co-author Dr Jeffrey Grossman, a professor of materials science and engineering at MIT.

The Fitbits did, however, also track sleep and the correlation between shut-eye and academic performance was clear.

Researchers found that students who got at least seven hours of sleep got the best grades on the 11 quizzes, three

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