How Much Sleep Do IHS Get?

Seth Woodbury & Seamus Foley, Journalists

Sleep is a big part of IHS student’s lives and whether they get enough sleep throughout the night can positively or even negatively impact their education. Academically, memory, attention and critical thinking are impacted by staying up too late during the night. Sleep not only affects education but it also affects mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to obesity, heart disease and infections. There is an increased rate of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder in individuals that don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep. The average length of sleep that a teenager ages 13-18 needs a night is 8 to 10 hours. According to a study from the CDC 72.7% of students from 9th to 12th grade did not get enough sleep on school nights. This can lead to many health problems including obesity, Type 2 diabetes is also possible to be developed from sleep deprivation according to the CDC as well. Students obviously will have more trouble concentrating in school which could lead to poor academic performance. A problem that could lead to the lack of sleep in many adolescents is the use of phones and blue light before bed, in addition to stress caused from sports, schools, or work. 


There are many causes of sleep deprivation of students that can lead to worse academic performance. Electronic devices such as phones, tvs, computers and even gaming consoles contribute to a bad sleeping schedule. Early start times for school prevent students from getting 8-10 hours of sleep and even breakfast. Fortunately, there are possible solutions to these problems. First of all, if students turn down the brightness of their electronic devices which can make it easier to fall asleep. Parents can make curfews for their children to limit screen time and help their children’s sleep schedule. Schools can push back start times by an hour to let everyone get an extra hour of sleep for the school day in order to help mental health, physical health and overall education.


We asked three IHS senior students how much sleep they get and the effect that sleep has on them. Patrick Restuccia, an IHS student answered some questions about this topic. When asked about how much sleep he gets a night he said “I usually get around 6 hours or so.” Another question he was asked was if his parents set curfews for his phone and tv, he said “They used to when I was younger but not anymore.” We also wanted to know if he’s seen a decrease in academic performance from lack of sleep. He responded to this with a “No”. Finally we asked him about what his opinion was on starting school at 7:45 or 8:45, he said “It’s ok I guess” for starting school at 7:45, and “8:45 is too late” for starting school at 8:45. 


After Patrick Restuccia, we found another fellow IHS student by the name of Dan O’Carroll. Dan has similar views and experiences with sleep and education. We asked, “How many hours of sleep do you usually get and when do you usually fall asleep?” Dan said he gets around six to seven hours of sleep a night. We wanted to know if Dan uses electronics before bedtime so we asked him; Dan said “Yes”, he does get screen time before falling asleep. One of our most important questions was, “Have you experienced a decrease in academic performance over the past few months?” Fortunately, Dan hasn’t experienced any decrease in academic performance due to sleep and continues to get good grades. Dan also hasn’t experienced any problems with paying attention during class, which can be the result of a good sleep schedule. A big issue concerning school start time, “What are your thoughts on IHS starting at 7:45?” Dan believes that our start time is too early but he also believes that starting an hour later around 8:45 would be too late. 


The final student that was interviewed was Luca Harlow-Rivas. The first question Luca was asked was very similar to the other students; he was asked, “how much sleep do you get a night?” He responded to this by stating “I get 5 hours generally.” When asked if he uses dim lighting for his phone before bed he responded with “No”. He was also asked if he’s seen an academic decrease in school and he said “No”. The last questions we asked him were what his opinion was on school starting at 7:45 which he said was “too early”. We also asked him what his opinion was on starting school at 8:45 which he responded to by saying it was “too late”.


In conclusion from our research we can conclude that IHS students do not get the average amount of recommended sleep per night. The average IHS student is around 5 to 7 hours per night while the recommended hours of sleep per night for a teenager is 8 to 10 hours. We also found that IHS students would rather start school sometime in the middle of 7:45 and 8:45. None of the students that were interviewed experienced any decrease in their academic performance because of a poor sleep schedule. This means that they are probably use to always getting around 5 to 7 hours of sleep on a day to day basis. We can conclude that IHS students unfortunately don’t try to combat bad sleep habits like limiting screen time and setting curfews.