In a large study(1) published in 2013, researchers examined self-reported sleeping habits of about 160,000 users of Lumnosity® who took spatial-memory and matching tests and about 127,000 users who took an arithmetic test. Optimal cognitive performance occurred at 7 hours per night of sleep, with worse performance among those with more or less sleep.
While you may not need exactly 8 hours of sleep per night and guidelines for optimal sleep are likely to be updated in the future(2). It is however, important to keep in mind that not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, and too little sleep, just as too much sleep can impact your brain and academic performance.
As the new semester approaches, have you considered how sleep is impacting your academic performance, and by how much? What will you do differently?
- Sternberg, et al. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7: 292. Published online Jun 20, 2013. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00292. The largest human cognitive performance dataset reveals insights into the effects of lifestyle factors and aging.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.