60-Second Science

Multiple Studies Confirm Importance of Good Sleep

Studies presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies show that sleep is vital for attention, academic performance and even free-throw shooting. Kevin Begos reports.

What do airport baggage screeners, students and basketball players have in common? They all need a good night’s sleep.  A study presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies suggests basketballers who get some extra z's are more likely to score in a game. (Stanford University) researchers monitored members of the school's men's basketball team during two weeks of regular sleep cycles and then two weeks with extra sleep. With extra sleep the athletes reported increased energy; faster sprint times; and better
free-throw shooting.

Another study found that college students who pull all-nighters to prepare for tests tend to have lower grade point averages than those who get regular sleep.  And  2nd and 3rd graders with sleep disorders are more likely to receive bad grades in math, reading and writing, according to a study from Chappaqua Public Schools in New York.  But it gets even worse. A researcher from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston found that airport baggage screeners who didn’t get enough sleep made more errors in searching for unusual items that might be a threat. You need to catch z’s to catch bad guys.

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