Students Affected by Lack of Sleep

Carmen Phan ’19
EE Contributor

Most students at Trumbull High may probably agree that they do not get enough sleep. According to a study by Jin and Shi, the optimal amount of sleep that high school students are supposed to get is 9 hours. This fact inspired a study that was conducted this January. The purpose was to determine if there was any association between the number of hours that a student slept for each night and their perceived level of healthiness. In addition, students’ perceived stress levels were also examined.

Thirty surveys were given out in the commons as well as the senior lounge of the high school. The surveys asked about the amount of sleep each student received on a school night as well as some questions to determine the amount of stress they were experiencing. Five questions were actually from a perceived stress scale that is approved by the American Sociology Association.

From the study it was found that student may be sleep deprived as the average amount of sleep received each night was 6.21 hours. In addition, the results suggest that as the average number of hours of sleep that a high school student gets each night increases, their perceived healthiness level also increases. During the survey, healthiness was defined as a mix between physical, mental and emotional health. The graph pictured shows the relationship between these two variables.

Furthermore, from the responses gathered on the perceived level of stress, we are 95% confident that the interval from 11.197 to 13.737 captures the true mean perceived stress level. This means that 95% of the time this confidence interval contains the true population mean when used repeatedly. Based on the scale used, a score between 8-11 represents average perceived stress level, and a score between 12-15 represents a slightly higher than average perceived stress level. This suggests that the students at this high school are experiencing an above average perceived stress level which according to the perceived stress scale relates to a high health concern level. It was also found that nine out of the thirty students surveyed reported that they missed at least one day of school due to stress. This study highlights the sleep deprivation that students are currently experiencing and how that impacts how healthy they feel. It brings into the importance of how as a school we should continue to teach effective ways to manage stress levels and the importance of sleep in order to create a healthy student body.

Editor’s Note: This article excerpted from a larger research project completed in Mr. Darrow’s AP Statistics class

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