How Does Homework Affect a High School Student’s Sleep Schedule?


Elise Dinbergs

Here at HBHS, this is a typical homework assignment from an AP level class. The amount of homework a student has can have disastrous effects on their health and sleep schedule. “Kids shouldn’t be given more than two hours of homework a day, [preferably] one hour a day outside of school,” said Christina Ellis.

Elise Dinbergs, Co-A&E Editor

The average high school student struggles to find time in the day to balance their homework and extracurricular activities, which can often have a negative impact on them. For those attempting to find time to fit in all their homework and activities, sleeping may seem like an option instead of a need, but it really is necessary.

 In our society today, students are pushed to succeed in various ways, whether it is through standardized testing, such as the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, or are exerted to their limit to get exceptional grades. Maintaining all these academic pressures can be disastrous to a teen’s physical and mental health, according to a study done by Stanford University’s Sleep Disorder Clinic. In fact, sleep deprivation among teens has many negative effects, such as drowsiness, bad grades, anxiety, and an inability to concentrate, just to name a few. 

These problems continue to fester in teen’s lives, and oftentimes, kids don’t even realize that they are really tired. They are acclimated to doing homework and other assignments late into the night. Students would benefit if they spent less time on this homework, so that they wouldn’t be staying up too late and would be able to go to sleep at a healthy hour.

“Kids are staying up too late doing homework, and I think it would be better for everyone’s health if they got more sleep,” said Christina Ellis, a history teacher at HBHS. Time management is another skill that kids could use to figure out what they have to do and can do in a day. Waiting until the last minute to do assignments keeps kids awake late each night, which can create an unhealthy cycle of sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation is a huge problem across the country. Many students feel pressured to take as many high-level AP classes as they can to ‘succeed’, when in reality, it leaves them bogged down with homework and stress. Going a long period of time without adequate sleep can have negative impacts on a student’s academics, as their brains aren’t working as well as they should be. 

The amount of homework students have nightly is based on the level of classes they are taking in school. Balancing sports and homework is not an easy feat, and teachers still assign the same homework, regardless of whether or not a student is extremely occupied that night with activities. 

“I believe that 90 minutes of homework would be appropriate,” said Susan Joyce, a guidance counselor at HBHS. “Overloading a student with homework, after they have already sat through a 7 hour school day and extracurriculars, sports or jobs, and can exhaust them by the time they get home, so the student is too tired to complete any of their assignments.”

Sometimes, sleep deprivation due to homework is not at the fault of the student. Many teachers believe that they should assign a large amount of homework so that their students can succeed in class. When students are taking 6 or 7 classes with that kind of mentality, they can be overwhelmed.

“There’s certain classes that assign way too much homework and it’s overdoing it. I think most teachers’ mentality is more is more,” said Vero Leblanc ‘20. The pressure for a student to succeed is so elevated that it comes at the cost of that student’s health and wellbeing. Teachers at HBHS should work to plan their homework schedules accordingly, so that the students aren’t overwhelmed and can maintain a healthy sleep schedule.That way, they can be healthy and are able to perform better in class.