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Published on December 16, 2013

Good Sleep = Better Grades

December 16, 2013

boy sleeping on booksEight hours of shut-eye prevents irritability and drowsiness, and is essential for good academic performance in adolescents. Whether the problem results from erratic sleep schedules or simply not enough hours of rest, poor sleep habits have a direct negative effect on school performance. Studies show daytime sleepiness is related to lower grades overall, while improved sleep quality leads to higher grades in math and English. Children with poor sleep habits also have trouble remembering information. In teens, sleep deprivation can also lead to increased acne, increased risk of obesity, and car accidents from drowsy driving.

Building Better Habits

For adolescent whose academic performance may be suffering because of sleep deprivation, lifestyle changes make a huge difference. Try the following:

  • Wind down before bedtime. Make a ritual of engaging in calming activities, such as reading or taking a warm bath.
  • Power down. The type of light emitted by electronic devices changes body chemistry and makes it harder to sleep.
  • Time your exercise. Staying active during the day helps teens sleep more soundly. Exercise right before bedtime, however, can cause insomnia.
  • Keep a schedule. Turn out the lights around the same time every night. Sleeping in a bit on the weekend is a nice treat, but “binge” sleeping can throw off a body’s natural rhythm and make going to sleep that much more difficult. 
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