PSYCH will be collected and analyzed are the


 R e s e a r c h  P r o p o s a l

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  PSYCH 240


Lynnette Molitor






Quality of sleep and the Impact of Academic Performance in College Students


In this research proposal, I chose
an experimental method since in experimental designs causality can be proved. The
goal of this study is to assess
the association between sleep deprivation and academic performance in college
undergraduate students using registry-based academic grades (letter grades). Due
to this research being conducted in an experimental method (effects of the independent
variable on the dependent variable are collected and analyzed for a
relationship) a quantitative approach will be
conducted since final grade for each student will be collected at the end of
the semester and assessed. The quantitative
data that will be collected and analyzed are the student’s letter grades.

3.      This
research study will examine whether sleep deprivation affects the academic
achievement of undergraduate university students attending NSC and test whether
sleep variables emerged as significant predictors of succeeding academic
performance. The goal of this study is to investigate if sleep deprivation will
cause low academic performance in undergraduate students. If students are sleep
deprived then they will have a lower academic performance compared to students
who are not sleep deprived.


Citation 1 and summary.


inadequate amount of sleep is detrimental factor that impacts mental processing
and function that is involved in students taking academic performance. Therefore
a correlation to the impact of undergraduate student’s performance on exams and
consequently the grades they received. The quality of sleep a
student’s experience in a 24 hour time frame directly correlates with physical
health, emotional state, and mental functioning/processing. Cognitive
performance is at risk because of students failing to receive adequate sleep; cognitive
performance decrease when less than 7 hours of sleep is obtained in a day for
young adults. Students receiving inadequate sleep are generally less attentive
and cannot concentrate as well; thus resulting in a slowed and sluggish cognitive
processing that affects academic performance. Inadequate sleep also hinders
normal functions within brain structures which are vital to cognitive
processes. One of the most impacted structures in the brain that is
significantly affected is the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is
responsible for day to day functions that involve speech, recollection, logic, reasoning,
and creativity. This study demonstrated how lack of sleep impacts cognitive
performance in a negative way if a student is receiving inadequate amounts of
sleep. This information helped me understand what lack of sleep does to the
brain and structures in the brain that are vital for performing well on exams.


H. (2016). Sleep and academic performance in later adolescence: Results from a
large population-based study. Journal of Sleep Research, 25(3),
318-24. doi:10.1111/jsr.12373

APA Citation
2 and summary.


are a small amount of studies that have explored sleep habits in students who
are pursing health-care related degrees and careers. In this study, researchers
had found sleep issues were common in students in medical school and inadequate
sleep was correlated to the impact of academic performance. Regardless of a
student’s academic pursuit, sleep is a vital necessity for people
to live a healthy lifestyle. Without healthy amounts of sleep students cannot
function well and think coherently. Sleep aids with memory consolidation,
learning, decision making, and critical thinking. In this article, among
finding sleep deprivation causes cognitive hindrance, they also found that
sleep deprivation significantly impact a student’s ability to perform successfully
in their medical classes. This is evident through the students’ GPA’s. Researchers
in this study reported that students that who had slept about 9 hours or more within
a 24 hour time frame had higher grade point averages compared to students that
only sleep about 6 hours or possibly less within a 24-hour period. Student
receiving less amounts of sleep also have a tendency to show signs of nervousness,
anxiousness, more neurotic, prone to hallucinate, and displayed less
creativity. The
information in this article helped me understand how sleep deprivation impacts
the student’s grades.


 Kelly, W., Kelly, K., & Clanton,
R. (2001). The relationship between sleep length and grade-point average among
college students. College Student Journal,35(1),



Citation 3 and summary.


research study included subjects that had some sort of sleep disorder and were
being compared to subjects that had a depressive disorder. The subjects that
had a sleep disorders that secondary to other potential contributing factors
such as mental illness, and other possible factors were exempted from this
study. “Sleep disturbance arises only after a critical level of depression is
reached, and depression of varying severity may selectively affect different
sleep parameters” (Gupta 2009). My research proposal is assessing the affects
of sleep deprived students and their grades, depression was not incorporated. This
article suggests that perhaps lack of sleep could be due to depression. It was
something that I had not considered as to why a student may be not sleeping and
it is aspect that could be contributing to the low academic performance. This
study did emphasize on the importance on the risk of cognitive performance if a
student is receiving inadequate amounts of sleep. This information had great
research about how sleep does not just affect a clinically diagnosed depressed
individual but also on a normal individual who is sleep deprived.   



R., Dahiya, S., & Bhatia, M. S. (2009). Effect of depression on sleep:
Qualitative or quantitative?             Indian
Journal of Psychiatry, 51(2), 117–121.


5.      For
this research proposal, I chose an experimental method. This research will test
whether sleep deprivation causes low academic performance.  Sleep deprivation is also a variable that can
be easily manipulated in the experiment since there will be a control group
receiving normal amounts of sleep and an experiment group that will be
receiving less than 6 hours of sleep. The hypothesis of this study is if
students are sleep deprived then they will have a lower academic performance compared
to students who are not sleep deprived


target population will be students whom are randomly selected that attend
Nevada State College. Most individuals believe in a patterned lifestyle, in
this case how humans should sleep at night and should work or attend school in
the daytime. This cycle of sleep and activity has been considered the only
“normal” pattern for humans especially humans still developing. However, for a
student attending a university in pursuit of further education this is not
always the case. Students must work hard at maintaining grades and set strict
priorities of their day to day activities. If activities that were meant to be
done during the day are not complete then the duration of completing the
activity seems into the time frame of when sleep should be obtained. College
campuses encompass a lot of social and academic experience sleep and rest are
at time a very low priority for students. From demands of classes, not having a
parent set a curfew, and stresses that prevent students from getting a full
nights rest contribute to sleep deprivation which in turn affect academic


sample will be randomly selected undergraduate, degree-seeking students that
attend Nevada State College. College level education is a very challenging
experience since students will sacrifice sleep and prioritize class work. This
research will determine how much of an impact sleep has on learning, the result
could potentially   


8.      The independent variable is amount
of sleep (hours per night) that the student is obtaining. It is very hard to control what a
participant does unless it happens in a lab.  Participants will get checked in with through
visitation or a random phone call every so often to avoid this issue. This is
the independent variable since this is the variable being manipulated. The
control group will receive 8 hours of sleep and will be monitored by a fit bit.
The experiment group will receive less than 6 hours of sleep also monitored by
a fit bit.


9.      The dependent variable is academic
performance. Since the independent variable is the amount of sleep in hours a
student is receiving, academic performance is dependent upon the amount of
sleep being received. Academic performance will be influenced and impacted if
students do not receive adequate amounts of sleep. The goal of this study is to
measure the student’s academic performance based on the letter grade received.  

10.  Students will also be monitored with
a fit bit that shall be worn the entire duration of the study. This will allow
a better data collection of the students sleep patterns. A Fitbit devices use technological
software called a 3-axis accelerometer that monitors and follows motions mad
during daily activity. The device provides very detailed information consisting
of patterns of movement that are either intense such as working out or less
intense such as sleeping. An individual sleeps versus when the body is active. The
Fitbit also has another software installed called PurePulse® which monitors the individuals heart
rate. Based on the heart rate it another method to make it clear and easy to
differentiate when an individual is sleeping versus when they are awake and

11.  The
data collected of sleep monitored will be graphed by the Fitbit software for each
participant. The Fitbit to was to record sleep and run a correlational study
will be done to interpret the results thus determining the relationship of
sleep and academic performance. Correlational studies are used in psychology to
search for a relationship between two variables. Three possible results of a
correlational study can be obtained..  A positive
correlation of variables, a negative correlation of variables, and no
correlation at all of variables. To measure the strength of the correlations, a
correlation coefficient will be used. The strength of the correlation will
range from –1.00 to +1.00. In this study, if the correlation coefficient becomes
close to +1.00, these results will indicate a very strong positive correlation
between sleep (amount of sleep in hours) and academic performance (the letter
grade received). If results steer more toward -1.00 then this is a strong
negative correlation. If the correlation coefficient is 0 then there was no
correlation between the variables.

12.  There are certain limitations
that should be taken in consideration. Researchers will be unable   to control the time and day the students are
assigned assessment tasks or any written exams. Other contributing factors that
should be considered is personality that is academically conscious, this factor
is a strong predictor of academic achievement. Socioeconomic status was not
taken into consideration neither was class attendance. This study did not
consider if students nap sometime during the day or take medication
(homeopathic or over the counter supplements) use that may induce sleep which
would significantly affect the results.

13.  The
manipulation of sleep could potentially be harmful to participants in this research
study; however, it is no more harmful than they would experience in their lifestyle
as college students willing to sacrifice sleep to succeed academically. When
the sleep subjects are called for their check in it will not be the same
individual always calling. The computers will run diagnostics on the Fitbit and
will be recorded in the computer systems data.



14.  Student who received more sleep
passed their exams with higher exam grades compared to students who failed most
of their exams. Student receiving more amounts of sleep on weeknights and
weekends will score higher than students that did not. When examining each
sleep group the percentage of student who did not score high or did not perform
well were receiving less than 6 hours of sleep on weekdays and weeknights. Among
student receiving the full 8 hours of sleep showed an increased improvement in
academic achievement grades and GPA were higher in the group reporting a better
sleep quality. Factors that contribute to adequate sleep are the quality of
sleep, the amount, and the sleep regimen and are associated with better exam
scores. The results have strong implications that some sort of sleep education
or program should be incorporated to promote the student body’s health as well
as their academic performance 


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