Sleep and Academic Performance
Does your child seem to be struggling in school? Is college starting to feel more overwhelming and frustrating than it needs to be? Are you (or your student) getting enough sleep? If not, poor sleep may be the culprit. The more you get a full eight hours of restful sleep with a healthy bedtime routine, the more likely it is you or your child will perform better in school. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn more about how sleep and academic performance go hand-in-hand.
(p.s. Scroll down for 10% off your favorite RestoreZ natural sleep supplements!)
Efficient sleep improves math and language skills
“Sleep efficiency” is the ratio of time you spend in bed to the amount of time slept. When you’re laying in bed struggling to fall asleep for an hour (or two), that’s low sleep efficiency. High sleep efficiency means you’re sleeping well, and that can lead to improved academic performance. Specifically, better performance at language and math.
Math and language performance uses skills like planning, focus, and memory. Those skills are supported by the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is highly affected by inefficient sleep or lack of sleep. If you or your child aren’t getting enough sleep, that part of the brain is affected. You might find yourself struggling to focus on your studying, or failing to remember reading passages and math formulas.
Sleep and academic performance are intertwined
A study of students in an introductory college chemistry class found that their academic performance was affected by their sleep habits. Interestingly, the study didn’t find a relationship between test performance and sleep on the night before the test. What did matter was sleep duration and sleep quality for the month and the week before a test. Consistent, high-quality, long periods of sleep led to higher cognitive function and better academic performance.
Pulling an all-nighter every once in a while to cram isn’t the best for your health (and we definitely don’t recommend it), but consistently poor sleep habits will definitely negatively affect your grades over the long run.
Earlier bedtime is better for your grades
Night owls: you might feel like you’re more awake and energized late at night and in the wee hours of the morning, but research shows that going to bed after a certain time harms your academic performance, no matter how much total sleep you get. Generally, going to bed after 2 a.m. isn’t good for your health or your grades. Even if you fall into bed at 3 a.m. and get seven to eight hours of sleep, your performance won’t be as good as if you went to bed earlier. Eight hours may be the magic number for healthy sleep, but your bedtime still matters. Even after your parents no longer have a say in your bedtime!
Later mornings sync up with sleep patterns
Similarly, studies have found that schools that tried later school start times saw a 4.5% increase in average grades, in addition to improved attendance. Why? Delaying school start times simply means that kids get more sleep. It also takes shifting biological sleep patterns during adolescence into account.
While you may not be able to control when you start your mornings if you attend public elementary, middle, or high schools, you do have some options for college. When possible, schedule your earliest classes for mid-morning when you know you’ll start to feel energized. Respect your body’s natural circadian rhythms, and you might find it easier to study and pay attention in classes.
Sleep + school: how to get the best of both?
Do you find yourself struggling in school even after following all these tips? Try a natural sleep supplement from RestoreZ. Our products can relieve specific sleep issues like frequent waking at night, unbalanced circadian rhythms, or inability to fall asleep quickly. Find the perfect RestoreZ supplement for you or your student today. RestoreZ is safe for children ages 12 and up.
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