According to a study published in the journal International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology in 2011, students who receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night score higher in mathematics and physical education classes than those who sleep significantly less or more.
The study, led by Raúl Quevedo-Blasco and Victor J. Quevado-Blasco, analyzed 592 students of both genders in Seville between the ages of 12 and 19 to determine how sleep patterns affect academic performance. Each student was given two separate questionnaires designed to measure levels of sleepiness, quality of sleep and difficulty with falling asleep after various situations. Researchers found that children who had received the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night were more likely to get better grades in their mathematics classes. Students were also found to have more success in their physical education classes than students who had slept less than six hours or got more than nine hours of sleep.
The Importance of Receiving Quality Sleep
After reviewing the questionnaires, researchers discovered that when students fell asleep earlier and woke up later, they demonstrated lower academic achievement than their classmates. Students with a longer sleep latency, the length of time before falling asleep at night, also demonstrated lower scores.
Though adolescents require more sleep than adults to function adequately, students receiving less quality sleep are more likely to have a difficult time in school due to a lack of concentration and daytime drowsiness. Sleeplessness in adolescents can negatively affect their daily lives in and out of school, and is often caused by stress and anxiety. However, if daytime drowsiness and fatigue are consistent, sleeplessness could be caused by an underlying sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can present itself as early as infancy, and is a serious health risk for anyone suffering from the disorder. Sleep apneics frequently stop breathing during the night, causing a lack of oxygen in their bodies that causes fatigue and drowsiness during the day. If sleep apnea goes untreated, more health problems are likely to develop.