We all know how important a good night's sleep is, right? As parents, we don't get nearly enough. But lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on your everyday life and ability to function. We feel it when we don't get enough sleep, and we see it in our kids when they don't get enough sleep. But aside from our kids melting down or giving us attitude when they're tired, not getting enough sleep can also keep them from doing their best, especially when it comes to school. When your kids are tired, they have a harder time staying focused and processing the important stuff they are taught in their classrooms. And now, a new study suggests that not getting enough sleep could actually hurt their grades.
The study, called Study, Sleep Retreat: Exploring High School Students’ Sleep Patterns in America, was published by The Best Mattress, which is a mattress review site (we know, but hear us out, it makes sense!). The study authors analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Youth Risk Behavior Survey". The data was collected between 2011 and 2017, and the authors used it to identify trends in the sleeping habits of teenagers. The CDC says that teens between the ages of 13 and 18 should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night. But that's not happening, not even close. The data from the survey showed that 71% of teens aren't getting enough sleep; boys in that age range get an average of 6.74 hours of sleep per night, while girls get an average of 6.6 hours.
The authors of the study then looked at the teen's grades, to determine if their sleeping habits had any sort of effect on them. Unsurprisingly, the more sleep they got, the better their grades were. "A" students got an average of 6.71 hours of sleep,while "D" and "F" students got approximately 6.16 hours. What is surprising is that only 30 minutes of sleep seem to separate the higher performing students from the struggling students. The authors of the study found that the less sleep the teens got, the worse their grades got.
Some of the things keeping teens from getting enough sleep include extracurricular activities and screen time, which is also not entirely surprising. It's so important for us as parents to make sleep a priority for our kids, but that doesn't end when they become teens. In fact, it's more important than ever to make sure our kids are well-rested as they get older, so we can help them be the best versions of themselves as possible.