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As Sleep Improves, Grades Seem to Go Up

Math scores show benefit when teens are efficient sleepers, study finds,,

WEDNESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Better quality sleep and more efficient sleep just might lead to higher grades, especially in math.

That's the finding of a study that included 56 teens, ages 14 to 18, who had complained of insufficient sleep at night or daytime sleepiness. Researchers measured the sleep of the participants, and the teens provided information on their grades.

The study found an association between higher math scores and fewer awakenings at night, less time spent in bed, higher sleep efficiency, greater sleep quality and less time taken to fall into a deep sleep at night. Higher scores in English were associated with fewer nighttime awakenings. And there also was a link found between increased time taken to fall into a deep sleep during the weekends and worse overall academic performance.

The researchers said they were surprised to find that although more and better sleep produced overall academic improvements, different aspects of sleep were associated with different types of functioning.

"Sleep deficits cause problems for adolescents, but students differ in their personal resources and in how chaotic their sleep-wake schedules are," principal investigator Jennifer C. Cousins, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"The more regular and predictable their sleep is, the better they are likely to do when confronted with short-term sleep deficits," she said. "Therefore, participants with better sleep overall may be affected differently in a sleep condition compared to those who have a more varying sleep/wake schedule."

The study was to be presented June 10 in Seattle at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more about teens and sleep.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, June 10, 2009

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