For Better or Worse? – How School Affects Stress and Sleep

Eva, Staff Writer

School is known to cause an increase of stress, with doing assignments, keeping good grades, and test taking. However, how stressed are students?

Mental health tends to be a subject that that most avoid; people often do not like to open themselves up and put their problems on display.

Sleep is a very important part of mental health. “Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health,” Harvard Health stated. Being well rested is important because if not, it can contribute to stress. So if someone is already stressed from having to do work, having less sleep can add to the stress.

When asked, three students, Sam Shauger, who is a junior, Ember Sandler, who is a junior, and Dylan Aponte, who is a sophomore, compared their amount of sleep in the summer to their amount of sleep since the start of the school year. They also compared with levels of stress as well. As collected from interviews, students are not entirely stressed and their sleep schedules have not really changed yet because it is still early in the school year.

“The stress hasn’t elevated to its full extent yet. It’s not that bad yet,” Sam Shauger replied, when asked how stressed she has been since the start of the school year. Even though the students interviewed are not that stressed yet, they predicted high stress levels in the future. “It’s definitely going to end up getting worse. I think slowly getting there, just with homework and everything. I had 3 tests the other day and it was a lot,” Sam said.

Another student, Ember Sandler, stated that in the summer she was, “not very stressed,” and since the start of the school year she is, “moderately stressed.” Ember was also asked how stressed she predict she would be later in the school year, and about what. “Pretty stressed. About homework and school work,” she responded.

A 3rd student, Dylan Aponte, predicted how stressed he thinks he will be farther into the school year. “12 out of 10,” he replied. In addition, in the summer, his stress levels were, “About 5 out of 10,” Dylan said, “because of summer work.”

Students were also asked how much sleep they got during the summer and how it compares to now. “About 6 or 7,” Sam Shauger responded when asked about the hours of sleep she got in the summer. “Because I had work in the morning and I had to get up early,” she stated as her reasoning. “Probably about 6 or 7, but sometimes a little less,” Sam replied, when asked about her sleep during the school year.

“7 to 9,” Ember Sandler answered, when asked about how many hours of sleep she would have in the summer. “5 to 8 with school.”

“11 hours,” responded Dylan Aponte, when asked about sleep in the summer. “6 or 7 hours,” he replied when asked about the amount of sleep he usually gets since the start of the school year.

In conclusion, students are not that stressed yet and their sleep schedules have not really changed because it is still early in the school year. Sleep schedules have changed since the start of school, but not as much for those who have jobs. Of course, not all of this information is the same. Just like the students interviewed, not all students have the same amount of stress or get the same amount of sleep.

How many hours of sleep did you usually get during the summer?

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 More information:

School Stress Takes a Toll on Health, Teens and Parents Say: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/12/02/246599742/school-stress-takes-a-toll-on-health-teens-and-parents-say

Sleep and Mental Health: Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Mental Health: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health