How does sleep affect academic performance?

Many parents are concerned that their teenagers are sleep deprived and that this will affect their academic performance, but how much do they really need? Eric Eide and Mark Showalter reveal their findings

MANY PARENTS ARE TROUBLED that their children, especially teenagers, are sleep deprived. There is a natural worry that young people are sabotaging their current school performance and future opportunities for educational success by sleeping too little. Research suggesting a link between sleepiness and behavioural problems is also a cause of great concern for both parents and teachers.

What we know
● Few teenagers get the recommended hours of sleep a night.
● Older teenagers who sleep 7 hours a night tend to have the highest test scores.
● Teenagers who sleep less than 6 hours a night or more than 11 hours tend to do poorly on tests.

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June 2012