Sleep Study Shows U.S. Students Rank Last

sleep in the US

Students in the U.S. lead a list of countries where poor sleep hampers academic performance. With all the distractions in our world today, many students have already experienced an inability to concentrate on math and science problems in school.  This is compounded when they are sleep deprived.  A Boston College study, reported by the BBC, provides more data on this issue and shares what students and parents can do to counteract the trend.

Inadequate Sleep in U.S. Students

The researchers sent questionnaires to parents in 50 countries about the sleep habits of 900,000 students and correlated this with test scores to find the impact of sleep deprivation on students’  ability to analyze math and science questions. The study concluded that the U.S. has the greatest proportion of students whose test scores were poor because of lack of adequate sleep. The study found that in the U.S. that 73% of 9 and 10 year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14 year-olds were affected by sleep deprivation.

The countries where poor sleep hampered academic performance the most were the U.S., New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.  The countries where sleep had the least impact on academic performance were Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Slovakia.

So what is the biggest difference in the students’  habits in these countries and what can U.S. parents and students learn from it?

Turn off Your Technology for Improved Sleep and Performance

The lower level of quality sleep in students in developed countries like the U.S. is attributed to the amount of technology available and used by the students before bedtime.  Cell phones and tablets are held close to the eyes and these devices emit light from the screens.  Having a computer screen close to your face exposes you to light and that tells your brain to stay awake.  Since these devices are held close to your eyes, they expose you to more light than a TV screen across the room or a light used for reading a book.

Parents and students in the U.S. may be discouraged to hear they ranked last in the world of the 50 countries included in the study, but this can serve as a wake up call – or rather, a “go to sleep call” - to reverse the trend and start getting a quality night’s sleep.

FusionSleep helps children, teens and adults get a better night’s sleep.  As the authority in Sleep Medicine with sleep clinics throughout Atlanta, FusionSleep diagnoses and treats sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia & over 80 other sleep disorders.  If you are concerned that you or someone you love may have a sleep disorder, please contact us for a consultation.