The Penn campus at night

I was one of those college students who treated sleep with a kind of casual contempt. The combination of being an adolescent, being free from the strictures of family life and able to set my own schedule, and drinking in the casual contempt that many students (especially engineering students, which I was as a freshman) have for sleep, meant that I had terrible sleep habits.

So I could have used this New York Times piece on the importance of sleep for good performance in college:

Whatever you may think can get in the way of a successful college experience, chances are you won’t think of one of the most important factors: how long and how well you sleep. And not just on weekends, but every day, Monday through Sunday.

Studies have shown that sleep quantity and sleep quality equal or outrank such popular campus concerns as alcohol and drug use in predicting student grades and a student’s chances of graduating….

College students who fail to adopt more wholesome sleep habits are more likely to find themselves unable to handle their chosen course load and less likely to reach their academic potential, according to a national study of more than 55,000 college students.