Alaska Sleep Education Center

How Improving Your Sleep Can Improve Your Grades

Posted by Susan Wallace on Jul 8, 2019 10:48:00 AM

"Good long sleep is an awesome thing and the best cure for anything," an Irish proverb says. School performance is not an exception:

The healthier a student’s sleep is, the better their grades are. Eight hours would make for a perfect sleep schedule but today by far not all students have an opportunity to follow it. And still, both psychological and physiological processes that occur when we are not awake make healthy sleep students’ best friend.

Recent studies prove the link between the quality of sleep and good grades, just like personal experience of probably every student who ever had sleep troubles.


Is good sleep really so important?

The mere fact that a student’s performance suddenly deteriorates might mean that their sleeping habits have recently changed. Lack of sleep negatively impacts concentrations and focus that are crucially important for studying.

Researches show that 13-18 year old students need no less than eight hours of sleep. Meanwhile, studies published by American Academy of Pediatrics in January 2018 showed that nearly 73% of high school students in the US sleep not enough. These statistics explain why sleeping in class became such a common tendency. Finally, lack of sleep affects mood, which isn’t that good for school performance as well.

school                (Source:


A short story from real life

A recent experiment shows that irregular sleep might have as adverse effect as lack of sleep. Let’s take a look at a story of one of its participants.

A group of students was asked to keep sleep diaries for 30 days. Those of them with irregular sleep time were noticed to have worse grades and lower productivity. The matter is that inconsistent sleep schedule shifts body clock rhythms.

Being more precise, melatonin gets released almost three hours later than in case with regular sleepers. Therefore, from the viewpoint of this student’s brain, an exam scheduled for 9 am actually starts at 6 am. Can you imagine being productive at this time? No, probably. 


The vicious circle

Is that possible that bad sleep is sometimes caused by bad grades? Quite often, students cannot fall asleep just because they are suffering too much stress from studies and the social consequences of poor school performance. After all, studying is stressful, while stress leads to insomnia.

Such combination negatively affects concentration and focus and therefore leads to even worse performance. However, there is always a way out. Finding a tutor would help catch up with the curriculum, while affordable assignment help could become a solution for your homework. Finally, talking to a teacher and explaining the situation might help as well.

The key thing is to find the reason of a problem and ask for help if it is too difficult to solve.



Why not to start later?

Even if you try hard to find a student who wouldn’t dream to start school at 10 am, you will fail. Studies show that this kind of a childish whim has a solid rational basis, in fact. It was proven that early start does not actually fit sleeping patterns of today’s teenagers.

Finally, their voice has been heard, at least in the United Kingdom. After a local petition to start school at 10 am attracted more than 183,000 signatures, Members of Parliament put the issue at the debate. Great news is that the petition received support and this is the first step toward victory.


A bit of statistics

Studies of the recent years once again demonstrate the importance of sleep and show that later start improves health of teenagers. Conducted by Open University, an experiment with 13-16 year old teenagers revealed that sleeping in class and student absence caused by illness fell down by 50% after the shift of the experimental group to the 10 am school start.

Such statistics seems to be no less than shocking. It clearly shows the correlation between sleep patterns, school start, students’ health, and therefore performance. In such a way, the fact that students are to start at 8.30 am might affect not only their productivity and performance but even health condition.


In conclusion

There is a direct correlation between eight hours of good sleep and grades students receive. What is more, it is important to adhere to regular sleep time patterns. The lack of good and regular sleep affects not only students’ performance but also their health condition, not to mention mood.

The importance of sleep cannot be overestimated and there is even such term as “sleep efficiency” that stands for the quality of sleep. Without the “efficient” sleep, good performance simply cannot be achieved. And even though there are thousands of cases proving this, the need for good sleep often remains ignored.

Meanwhile, the first step towards better grades might be to turn off the computer and go to bed earlier.

Research shows that poor sleep hygiene among teenagers is directly connected to moodiness. depression and symptoms of ADHD.  The great news for parents is that if diagnosed and treated sleep apnea in young people can lead to a much longer and healthier life for their children.

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Topics: school, Pediatrics

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