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Studying Sleep — Or Lack of It

A story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette earlier this month focused on the research being conducted at Hendrix College in Conway by Jennifer Peszka, a 1994 Washington and Lee graduate and an associate professor of psychology and head of the department at Hendrix. Jennifer received the M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Mississippi and joined the Hendrix faculty in 1999. Her current research is examining whether or not there is a connection between college students’ grades and sleep (or lack thereof). Jennifer and two other researchers, including her husband, David Mastin, associate professor of psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, have been studying a group of students since 2006. The group was divided into owls, who do their best work at night, and larks, who do their best work in the morning after going to bed early the night before. The study is scheduled to be completed this year. In the Arkansas Gazette piece, Jennifer explained how she first got interested in sleep research. It was back at W&L. She was studying for a test in the middle of the night when she noticed a poster that was promoting the importance of sleep.