HEALTHY LIVING
08/23/2012 07:38 am ET

Skimping On Sleep To Study Could Mean Worse Grades: Study

Pulling an all-nighter to cram is really just not worth it.

At least that's what University of California, Los Angeles researchers found in their new study, published in the journal Child Development.

The study tracked 535 Los Angeles-area high school students who were in the 9th, 10th and 12th grades. They had the students keep diaries for two weeks on the amount of time they spent sleeping and studying, as well as any time they had trouble understanding a topic in class and any time they got a bad grade on an assignment or test.

The researchers found that the more time a student skimped on sleep in order to study, the worse he or she did on the assignment or test. And this held true even after taking into account the total amount of time spent studying during the daytime.

"Although these nights of extra studying may seem necessary, they can come at a cost," study researcher Andrew J. Fuligni, a professor at UCLA and senior scientist at the university's Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, said in a statement.

Instead, Fuligni recommends students think of other things they can do to increase their study time during the day without dipping into night hours.

Perhaps this finding really isn't all that surprising -- after all, studies have shown that sleep deprivation drives up anxiety and could even make you work slower.

Plus, it could have negative effects on your health, from raising heart risks, to decreasing the body's insulin sensitivity, Health.com reported. It could also take a toll on the body's immune system.

According to the Mayo Clinic, kids and teens generally require more sleep each night than adults. School-aged children should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night, while adults should get seven to nine.

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