Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Naser, Lisa


Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant drug in the world and is consumed by nearly ninety percent of North Americans (Mednick, Cai, Kanady, & Drummond, 2008). Since caffeine is a highly consumed drug amongst a wide variety of demographics, it is important to consider the ramifications of caffeine on a person’s general well-being. In recent years, there has also been an increasing correlation between the number of individuals consuming caffeine and the rise of insufficient sleep (Mednick et al., 2008). Due to the high demands and stresses of college and graduate school, it is not surprising that many students sacrifice sleep and substitute with caffeine for the sake of their academic performance. Most students are unaware of the potential repercussions of these behaviors. Associated with these habits of excess caffeine consumption and sleep deficiency, students are not meeting weekly exercise recommendations. Due to busy schedules, nearly 40-50% of college students are deemed physically inactive (Deliens, Deforche, De Bourdeauhuij, & Clarys, 2015). Since these habits are all common in the student population, the purpose of this study was to identify whether there is a relationship between caffeine, sleep and exercise and the academic performance of Physician Assistant students. Three PA schools in the Twin Cities of Minnesota were surveyed and were asked about their caffeine, sleep and exercise habits. By comparing the GPAs of students who met the recommendations of caffeine, sleep and exercise to students who did not meet the recommendations, this study determined if there was a link between these variables and academic performance. Quantitative data about PA students’ caffeine, sleep, and exercise behaviors was collected through a Qualtrics survey. The data obtained from the surveys was analyzed using unpaired, two-sample T-Tests. The results indicated that there is not a statistically significant relationship between caffeine, sleep or exercise and the surveyed students’ GPA. Due to the small sample size and narrow distribution of GPAs among the sample population, there was not a statistically significant relationship between the variables and GPA. The standard deviation between the GPAs of the survey participants was only 0.2112. Since the results of the statistical analysis were not significant, it is not possible to draw conclusions from the survey results and make recommendations specifically for PA students. Since it has been well established in the literature that caffeine, sleep and exercise have remarkable ramifications on academic performance in the undergraduate student population, further research is warranted to investigate this subject in the graduate student population.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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