How Sleep Affect’s College Students Success

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

It is known by many that a common problem among college students is the amount of sleep they get. Students are encouraged to be involved in sports, clubs, and other activities on campus, but this involvement can cause students to not get the proper amount of sleep. Involvement in activities takes time away from doing homework and studying. If students choose to be involved in activities and therefore stay up late to get school work done this can be a problem. The question is, how big of a problem is it?

According to a study done by Monica E. Hartmann and J. Roxanne Prichard, there is a 10% increase in the chance of dropping a course for each additional night per week a student experiences sleep problems. The baseline chance of dropping a course was not included in the research article. The study also showed a student’s overall GPA decreases by 0.02 for each additional night a week that they have sleep problems. This means just one night a week with sleep problems could have a tremendous effect on a college student’s overall success. Therefore, students should not spend one night a week, let alone every night, as some do, staying up late to study or get work done.

The research study obtained information from randomly selected college students at several universities who were undergraduates and under the age of twenty-five. Variables such as whether students had learning disabilities, how much time they spent working, and whether they had a psychological disorder diagnosis were controlled in the study. There were some limitations to the study, which means there were some components of the study that could have affected the results. The information used in the study was self-reported by the participants. This means some people may have reported higher amounts of sleep than they typically get, while others may have reported less. People’s definitions of sleep problems could also vary widely. Another limitation was participants in the study were heavily female, and overall academically more successful students.

The participants were asked four specific questions to get an idea about their sleep habits, and possible sleep problems. These questions included things such as when they fell asleep, how they slept throughout the night, and how they felt throughout the next day based on the amount of sleep they got the night before.

Information collected in the study showed poor sleep can have a negative effect on student’s performance in school, specifically their GPA and chances of dropping a course, but not getting enough sleep can lead to other problems as well. Examples of possible problems include an increased chance of getting sick, psychological disorders becoming noticeable, and a greater chance of partaking in possibly dangerous situations such as substance use and unprotected sex.

Many universities focus on other issues such as drug use and binge drinking, but do not focus on sleep problems. Sleep problems can have the same or greater effects on academic performance as these more publicized issues. This is a problem because student’s may be doing all they can to not engage in the dangerous activities that are focused on, while they do not know their sleep habits are having a poor effect on their performance as well. Despite students wanting the opportunity to learn about sleep problems on their campuses, many schools do not provide students with this information. It is critically important for first-year students to get this information as the chances of them dropping a course are 40% greater than other undergraduates. If universities can give students information about sleep as soon as they come to campus it could eliminate problems that these students have later in their college career due to poor sleep.


Overall, I found it difficult to summarize the whole research article and follow the word count restriction. Although all the information in the original research article is important for readers of pop culture sources to know, I as the journalist, had to determine what was most important. I chose to include more specific details that related to the five critical questions. I left out information that seemed to be filler information which could be said in a shorter summary than was presented in the research article.

One of my main focuses when writing my summary of the research article was answering the five critical questions as these are important to readers. Regarding the first critical question, I did define what a college student was in the study, while the pop culture article did not. Although I defined this variable I did not define sleep problems very specifically, and this could lead to some confusion by readers. I think even among participants this could be a vary widely interpreted variable. Another difference between my summary and the news article was that I explained how participants were randomly selected from several colleges and the news article did not. I could have been more specific about the colleges where students were chosen from, but I felt that this was a detail that I could omit. According to the five critical questions though, I believe I should have included this detail to clarify the information for readers. The participants of the study were not assigned to groups and therefore, neither my summary nor the news article could answer the question of how participants were assigned to groups. Another similarity between my summary and the pop culture news article was that they do not allow for causal claims. It is not apparent in either article that random assignment was used because as was mentioned before, it does not seem as though participants were assigned to groups. Findings discussed in my summary could be generalized to students at the universities included in the study because I included how random selection was used in the study. Readers of the news article could not generalize conclusions to any population. Another similarity between my summary and the NY Times article is that they both include specifically selected details to keep the length to a minimum.

After writing my own summary of the research article for the media production project I understand how hard it is for journalists covering psychology research to write a short article about a long, and sometimes complicated research study. I also understand why pop culture articles cannot include all information that is necessary for readers to answer the five critical questions. Before completing the media production project, I thought it was foolish of the journalist of the NY Times article to not include answers to so many of the critical questions. I felt as though she was not telling the whole story, but now I understand she probably tried to get across what she felt was most important for readers to know. From the scholarly article critique I know that research articles contain answers to many more of the five critical questions than do pop culture sources. I learned if you need more information on a topic that you read about in a popular source it is important to go back to the original source because the information you are looking for can probably be found there. After completing these three assignments I now have much more respect for the work that journalists do summarizing large psychology research studies.

Works Cited

Brody, Jane E. “An Underappreciated Key to College Success: Sleep.” The New York Times. 13 Aug. 2018,

Hartmann, Monica E., and J. Roxanne Prichard. “Calculating the Contribution of Sleep Problems to Undergraduates Academic Success.” Sleep Health, vol. 4, no. 5, Oct. 2018, pp. 463–471., doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2018.07.002.’_academic_success

Stress Management

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Stress management is an important skill to have as a college student. One of the best strategies I have developed for stress management is exercise. Being a part of the field hockey team during the fall, I found going to practice and being with my teammates cleared my head and allowed me to get away from school work for a while. I believe exercise betters my mood and allows me to be more productive. During the offseason I have continued to go to the gym as a strategy for stress management. Another stress management strategy I have developed since coming to college is taking breaks while I am doing work for extended periods of time. In high school it was much easier to work on homework for large amounts of time because the work did not require as much concentration or thinking. Now, I have developed a routine of doing work for about 30-45 minutes and then taking a 10-minute break.

I think my stress management strategies work well for me. I find I am more productive after going to the gym or practice each day because I can focus better. I find the same thing happens when I take breaks while I am doing homework. The breaks work especially well when I am studying for exams.

I believe a strategy I could incorporate into my life for stress management is to sleep more. I find I am more productive on days where I am more awake, making me feel less stressed as I get more work done. Another strategy I could incorporate into my life for stress management is to put an assignment away for a little bit if it is causing too much stress. Sometimes when I am stressed I spend too much time just thinking about an assignment and looking at it instead of coming back to it when my mind is clearer. I believe these two strategies would be effective for stress management.

Sleep Habits

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

My sleep habits have changed drastically since I came to college. In high school I was in bed most nights by 10 and then woke up in the morning around 6:30 for school. On weekends I went to sleep later, around midnight, but only slept until about 9 in the morning. Therefore, even though it was different hours I was getting about the same amount of sleep on the weekends as the weekdays.

Since coming to college, I usually go to sleep around midnight and wake up the next morning between 7:30 and 8:30 depending on what classes I have that day. When I go to bed at midnight I usually do not fall asleep until about 12:30. This is different than high school because I am only getting 7 hours of sleep during the week now. Most weekends I stay up until 1 or 2 a.m. hanging out with friends. Instead of getting up at 9 on weekends, I now wake up much later, most times around 11 a.m. I think of the weekends as a way to catch up on sleep I missed during the week. I do not think this is an effective or healthy strategy. I think sleeping in late on weekends makes it much harder for me to wake up for my 8 a.m. class on Monday.

I think a realistic amount of sleep for a college student is 6 hours per night. By the time students are done with classes, homework, athletics, or extracurriculars it is much later than some people may think. Despite this, I think I function best with at least 7 hours of sleep. If I get less than this I tend to feel slow and cannot focus in classes as well.

A bad habit I have is showering late at night. I know this is not good for me as it wakes me up instead of making me tired. I also go on my phone right before going to sleep which I know is not good. To improve my sleep habits, I will try to shower earlier at night and not be on my phone right before I go to sleep.

Motivation Throughout College

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

One of the largest reasons I chose Elizabethtown College was for my major. Occupational therapy is offered at a small number of colleges in Pennsylvania, all of which are private. Elizabethtown College’s occupational therapy program has a very good reputation. Another reason I chose Elizabethtown was because of the size of the college which creates a sense of community on campus. When I came to campus for tours I observed how many people the tour guides knew on campus. I also noticed how they interacted with professors. Even though student relationships with professors are professional, it was evident here professors truly care about how their students do. Another reason I chose Elizabethtown was the opportunity to continue playing field hockey. My college decision was not easy, but I am very happy with the choice I made.

One of the biggest motivations for me to do well in my classes is I am extremely excited for my future career. When I look to the future and what I will get to do, this makes it easier for me to work harder in my classes. I know if I am successful throughout my time at Elizabethtown it will make it easier for me to do well in the future when I am looking for a job.

To maintain this motivation until graduation I will look back to the adversity I have overcome to that point. During my first semester I took one of the most challenging classes in college, biology. After getting through biology, I believe I can make it through any class if I have the correct mindset and work ethic. I will also tell myself when my motivation runs low I am doing this to be successful in my future and obtain a job in a field I am very passionate about.


--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

This video made me believe there is a lot more life has to offer than what we think about every day. It also made me think many objects or questions we encounter every day have much deeper meanings than we typically think about. The video made me realize there are always multiple ways to think of things, and it is beneficial to try to see the world in a different light.

I was surprised when I watched this video. I think what Daniel Tammet described and told about his condition was extremely interesting. Before watching this video, I had never heard of synesthesia. However, I did know what a savant was before watching this video. I found it interesting to learn about synesthesia through Daniel Tammet, a savant, who has the condition. I learned in the video synesthesia means there is an unusual amount of communication between a person’s senses. For example, if someone with this condition sees a number they may associate it with a certain color or shape, as Tammet demonstrated in the video.

I believe it would be hard for someone to live life normally with this condition. I think it would be hard to have so much information going through your head at once. Instead of just seeing a number, those with synesthesia may also see a color and shape. I believe this would be a lot of information to process. I think this condition could also be useful in everyday life. An example of this is when he explained how he came up with the answer to the math problem so easily. This condition allows the people with it to have a quick and easy way to think about things like this, which Tammet clearly demonstrated.

Study Habits

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Since coming to college, I have had to change my study habits from high school. I have found in college it is very important to begin studying in advance, whereas in high school I was able to get away with beginning to study for exams the night before. I also was able to just read through my notes and memorize information, whereas in college it is more about understanding the content than memorizing it.

I have done well at studying a little each day for classes, so I do not feel overwhelmed right before exams. In most classes I have found making flashcards is the most efficient way for me to study. This way I can mix up the information and not memorize it in a certain order. I also do well with being efficient during the time I study. I study in chunks and take breaks, so I will not be as distracted during the small chunks of time I am studying.

I believe I could improve my study habits by asking more questions of my professors and classmates when I am confused. Often when I am studying and come across a concept I do not understand, I pass over the concept and do not try to get clarification on it. This is a bad habit I would like to break. I could also improve my study habits by trying to study information in multiple ways to master content rather than just flashcards.

For the first exam in this class I have been studying the information a little bit each day. I have also been making flashcards. As well as flashcards, I have also utilized the study guide provided on Canvas.

To study better for the second exam, I think it would be helpful to ask more questions in class when I am confused about a topic. I do not always realize in class I am not grasping a concept, but when I go back over my notes after class sometimes I find I did not fully grasp a concept in class. This is when I believe I could go back to the professor or classmates for clarification. I am looking forward to learning more about memory in class this week.

Violence in Video games

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Growing up, I was not exposed to video games of any kind at my house. By the time I was old enough to understand the games my brother played, he was in college and did not live at home.

Although I was not exposed to violent video games at my house, I was when I went to some neighbor’s or friend’s houses. When I went to their houses, and saw their siblings playing games such as Call of Duty and today, Fortnite, I was taken back by what their parents would let them play. I also did not understand why my friend’s siblings would want to play a game that at the time, I thought was scary.

Although I do not think that playing these games will encourage a child to grow up to be more violent, I do not think it is a good idea for them to play games that show extreme violence. I believe it can give them a false sense of the world, and possibly make them more afraid of the world. Most people would not want their child to grow up in a violent neighborhood. I think by letting children play these games, they have the chance to experience the same psychological effects that would occur if they lived in a violent neighborhood. I do not think it is okay that children are taught from a young age through video games that randomized killing is okay. This could allow children to believe the type of violence displayed in these games is acceptable, when it is clearly not.

Despite what I stated in the previous paragraph, I do not think it is necessary to permanently ban violent video games. I believe there should be an age restriction on these games like the idea of a PG-13 rated movie. Like a movie though, it is ultimately up to each parent to decide what they would like to expose their child to when related to video games. When they make this decision, they should be aware their child could have psychological problems due to these games that they could have to deal with later. Violence in video games is a very controversial topic that will most likely continue to be discussed in future years.

Parenting Styles

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

I believe there are many ways of parenting that can make a child successful in life, but there are also ways of parenting that can promote bad behaviors or rebellion. I believe parenting is different for each child because each one takes various punishments and rules differently.

In my opinion, the ideal way parents should raise their children is by letting them learn from their mistakes, while also not allowing them to make life altering mistakes that could ruin their future. This style of parenting is a mix of a tiger mom and jellyfish dad.

A disadvantage of being a tiger mom is pushing a child too far. Too much pressure can lead to increased anxiety or stress; which children of today’s society are exposed to enough. A disadvantage of being a jellyfish dad is that at a young age it is not possible to expect children to make decisions themselves. If some children were not forced to do their homework, they probably would not do it. It is essential to include some components of the tiger mom and jellyfish dad parenting styles, so your child can be successful.

Regarding the helicopter parent approach, I think the more a parent hovers over their child, the more they will have a desire to be rebellious. I have found that my friends who were most sheltered in high school (had a strict curfew, were held to extremely high expectations, and who could not make any decision without their parent’s approval) are the ones who have gone to college and have already made life altering decisions. With that said, being too laid back is not an ideal way to parent either. We have parents because we need them to help us, so it is important to be there for a child when needed.

Another way parents can help their children to be successful is by encouraging them to spend their time doing things that are beyond themselves. Growing up I was encouraged to volunteer my time to help others who were in need. I believe this made a tremendous impact on my life as now I do not take for granted anything that is given to me. Along with volunteer work, I also think if a child has the time they should be get a job when they turn sixteen. There are multiple benefits of this. It teaches them how to save their money, how to use their money wisely, and how to provide for themselves in certain ways. I believe all these things make a successful parenting style.

Case Study

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

Miguel’s behavior can be explained differently by each theoretical approach. The different approaches include psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, neuroscience, and cultural.

According to the psychodynamic approach, Miguel’s behavior could be explained by childhood events. As a child he could have been encouraged to be good at all things. He may have been told that if he was not perfect at the things that he did then he was not good enough. An event like this could lead to his perfectionist tendencies. Also, from the psychodynamic perspective Miguel’s behaviors could be a result of his unconscious desires.

The behavioral approach focuses on observable behavior. Therefore, Miguel’s lack of success in coursework could be explained by other outside factors. These might include his inability to sleep, his perfectionist tendencies, or disagreements with his roommate.

The humanistic approach is centered around the individual and what is best for them. Therefore, Miguel should focus on himself to solve what is going on. He has the ability to be good and must focus on his personal growth to better himself. As his situation is now, it would seem as if he is not focused on himself enough.

Yet another approach is cognitive psychology, which focuses on the importance of mental processes. According to this approach Miguel’s behavior could be due to the fact that he is not cognitively mature. This means that he does not use information and solve problems the way that he should.

The next approach is neuroscience, or psychobiology. A neuroscientist may believe that Miguel’s behavior is due to genetics or another biological phenomenon.

The cultural perspective is based on how behaviors or processes differ by culture. Miguel’s behavior could be a result of his culture, whether that be that people in his culture are more likely to be perfectionists or have difficulty sleeping. Each theoretical approach presents a different explanation for Miguel’s behavior.

Mythbusters Methods

--Original published at JanellesCollegeBlog

For this assignment I chose to watch the Mythbuster’s video “Do Hands Free Devices Improve Driving Safety?” There were two different experiments included in the clip that tested this question. The first experiment took place on a man-made track that was mostly made of cones. The second experiment took place on a virtual track. Thirty people took part in the second experiment, while only two men took part in the first experiment. There were many strengths and weaknesses of the research methods used in both experiments.

One of the weaknesses of the first experiment was the amount of trials that were conducted. There was only two trials for each variable, hands free and hands full driving. Two trials is not sufficient to gather concrete evidence in order to make an end claim. A solution for this weakness is to have more trials of each variable. The second experiment did this. There were fifteen volunteers that drove hands free and fifteen volunteers that drove hands full. The second experiment was also better because the volunteers did not test both variables, only one. In the first experiment each volunteer completed both types of driving.

Another weakness in the first experiment was that each volunteer essentially had two tries. The second time that they drove through the course it is likely that they knew it better as they had already driven through it once. This would in turn not provide accurate data. The solution to this would be to have each volunteer only test one of the variables. One of the strengths of the second experiment was that each trial was regulated. The volunteers did not know what the course would be like because they only completed it once.

One of the weaknesses of the second experiment was how accurate the virtual road was. Not only were the volunteers distracted by a device, but there were also other cars as well as bikes on the road that they were on. It would be hard to distinguish in this situation whether the device or other distractions had the most effect on the driving.

In the end of the first experiment it was determined that there was no real difference between hands free and hands full driving. The average score for hands-free driving was 71, while the average score for hands-full driving was 72.5. The same results were shown by the second experiment. There was 1 pass and 8 crashes for the hands-free drivers. On the other hand, there was 1 pass and 9 crashes for the hands-full drivers.