Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High school students test best with 7 hours of sleep at night

Date:
February 10, 2012
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
New research finds that 16- to 18-year-olds perform better academically when they shave about two hours off what current guidelines prescribe.

Whether or not you know any high school students that actually get nine hours of sleep each night, that's what U.S. federal guidelines currently prescribe. A new Brigham Young University study found that 16-18 year olds perform better academically when they shave about two hours off that recommendation.
Credit: Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU

Whether or not you know any high school students that actually get nine hours of sleep each night, that's what U.S. federal guidelines currently prescribe.

A new Brigham Young University study found that 16- to 18-year-olds perform better academically when they shave about two hours off that recommendation.

"We're not talking about sleep deprivation," says study author Eric Eide. "The data simply says that seven hours is optimal at that age."

The new study by Eide and fellow BYU economics professor Mark Showalter is the first in a series of studies where they examine sleep and its impact on our health and education. Surprisingly, the current federal guidelines are based on studies where teens were simply told to keep sleeping until they felt satisfied.

"If you used that same approach for a guideline on how much people should eat, you would put them in a well-stocked pantry and just watch how much they ate until they felt satisfied," Showalter said. "Somehow that doesn't seem right."

In the new study, the BYU researchers tried to connect sleep to a measure of performance or productivity. Analyzing data from a representative sample of 1,724 primary and secondary school students across the country, they found a strong relationship between the amount of sleep youths got and how they fared on standardized tests.

But more sleep isn't always better. As they report in the Eastern Economics Journal, the right amount of sleep decreases with age:

  • The optimal for 10-year-olds is 9 -- 9.5 hours
  • The optimal for 12-year-olds is 8 -- 8.5 hours
  • The optimal for 16-year-olds is 7 hours

"We don't look at it just from a 'your kid might be sleeping too much' perspective," Eide said. "From the other end, if a kid is only getting 5.5 hours of sleep a night because he's overscheduled, he would perform better if he got 90 minutes more each night."

The size of the effect on test scores depends on a number of factors, but an 80-minute shift toward the optimum is comparable to the child's parents completing about one more year of schooling.

"Most of our students at BYU, especially those that took early-morning seminary classes in high school, are going to realize that 9 hours of sleep isn't what the top students do," Showalter said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric R Eide, Mark H Showalter. Sleep and Student Achievement. Eastern Economic Journal, 2012; DOI: 10.1057/eej.2011.33

Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "High school students test best with 7 hours of sleep at night." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110510.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2012, February 10). High school students test best with 7 hours of sleep at night. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110510.htm
Brigham Young University. "High school students test best with 7 hours of sleep at night." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210110510.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins