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Academic performance and sleep

02 Nov 2022

It is essential to convey the importance of rest to students: not only poor rest negatively influences academic performance, but good rest can do wonders for school results. As a parent, teacher, or student, knowing these facts about the influence of rest on academic performance will help you get better results.

The effects of irregular sleep

A study carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid in adolescents between 12 and 16 years of age, proves that sleep irregularly (fewer hours on weekdays and more on weekends) results in lower cognitive and academic performance, in verbal, spatial, numerical and general reasoning cognitive skills.

In the case of the girls, a greater alteration was seen in all skills except verbal fluency, while in the boys a worse general performance was observed, especially in inductive reasoning and numerical aptitude.

Lack of sleep in children under 12 years of age can cause a significant decline in learning, since decreases of up to 40% in the capacity to assimilate knowledge have been reported. It is also very common that in classrooms where there are a greater number of children who do not rest well, the aggressiveness increase

Irregular rest can result in mood swings, anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbances. The sleep patterns we adopt in childhood and adolescence are directly reflected in adulthood: that is why it continues to affect the performance of university students.

What I can do?

These are some of the most important things to keep in mind to improve academic performance and rest for both yourself and your children.

Monitor the hours of sleep: depending on age, each person will need to sleep a specific number of hours. For children from 0 to 5 years old, between 10 and 15 hours a day is recommended; for children from 6 to 12 years old, it is recommended between 9 and 12 hours a day. In adults, the healthiest would be between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a day.

It is not worth sleeping much if you do not sleep well: the quality of rest during sleeping hours is the most important thing to have a restful sleep. Therefore, it is vital to reach a deep relaxation. Don't skimp: a good mattress can be miraculous for your rest.

Try to organize study hours around rest Not the other way around: as the workload gets heavier over time, students often cut back on sleep to study for the next exam or finish the next project. Don't make that mistake: by estimating the hours of work that each activity will require and organizing yourself ahead of time, you can study everything you need without having to miss break time.

A series of good habits before bed will be your best ally to avoid insomnia and stressful situations.

All this, beyond the educational sector, also applies to work: you should not only worry about your children's performance and rest, but also about your own, since poor quality rest can affect your work performance.


The less you sleep, the less you give up.


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