It is suggested that people’s sleeping patterns have changed significantly over the last few decades. Even teenagers now get remarkably less sleep than before and standard of insufficient sleep for children and teenagers has become the norm. This situation is even more serious for middle and high school students.
According to some researches, some celebrities with outstanding achievements such as Bill Gates kept having few sleep hours for long periods of time so that people consider that those people who sleep less are more smart and creative.
In addition, since human stepped into the information age, people’s life cannot do without electronic products and such devices have a great impact on our brain as those kind of blue light emitted by screens can make our brain more alert and excited, prevents us from falling asleep. From what has been discussed above, it can be said that nowadays people get less time for sleeping and staying up late is actually considered as a common phenomenon even among students in DHSZ.
This trend has caught researchers’ attention and it is useful to investigate whether there is a relationship between sleeping hours and student’s performance on standardized tests and their wellbeing in daily lives.
The phenomenon for staying up late has been growing recent years and it suggests that the post-2000 generation has become the most serious group of people who stay up late, accounting for 45.7 percent. As smart devices have penetrated into middle and high school students, it is not uncommon for netizens to have fewer sleeping hours than before.
There is a great debate about whether staying up late is also positive for high school students to some extent.
Most of people believe that going to bed early at night and waking up early in the morning is much more beneficial for our health. But it is not like that, the majority of people do not know that sleeping late at night also provides several health benefits. First of all, staying up late all the time might be good for your academic performance as for someone they can remember things easier and quicker during the night. In 1978, Rita Dunn, a professor at st. John’s university in the United States, conducted an experiment to compare memory during a day. According to the results, about 30 percent of people have the best memory at night.They are the so-called ‘late sleepers'(Sacks). In addition, people always take the view of that you will fail to focus on something if you sleep too late. However, as long as you get adequate amount of sleep, it can actually increase your alertness. A study published in the journal Science noted that night owls could stay awake and mentally alert longer than those who sleep early.
However, some research groups also identified many negative impacts to the fewer sleeping hours for high school students. It suggests that students will have difficulty paying attention in class if they do not have a proper sleep and they may easily forget what they have learned as memory as well as some cognitive functioning is severely affected. Some data collected by Amy R. Wolfson & Mary A. Carskadon demonstrates that older high school students have less sleep and later bedtimes than younger students and those senior students are more likely to report a poor academic performance. This means that when students pull an all-nighter to study for exams, they are more likely to fail on exam day.In addition, health problems are also associated with sleep deprivation. Harvard University found that sleep deprivation closely connected to the negative effects on immunity functions, which may increase susceptibility to illness.If students stay up late for a long period of time, their metabolic balance could also be affected, which may increase the probability of obesity and some cardiovascular diseases (Scarpello).
Therefore, is it better to stay up late for high school students? As electronic devices become more entwined with students’ daily lives and the growth of academic pressure seems to be more serious, the debate of whether to stay up late may be inevitable. However, a new study conducted by Eric R. Eide and Mark H. Showalter of Brigham Young University notes that the optimal amount of sleep may be much lower and depends on the student’s age—for students who are 18-year-old which is the average age of DHSZ students only need slightly less than 7 hours sleeping hour (Sacks). Furthermore, the quality of the sleep is more important than whether or not you go to bed late. Even if you go to bed early, due to various factors such as students watch TV or do homework in their bedroom, their brains are always in a state of excitement, so it is difficult for them to fall into a deep sleep later, and they will feel tired at school the next day. Sleep experts have demonstrated some recommendations like having a quiet time before bedtime. Try to read a book or listen to quiet soothing music instead of playing computer games (Scapello).
With this in mind, a research project is proposed to investigate whether students at Dulwich International High School always stay up late and some correlations between sleeping hours and students’ performances. This would be to establish how many sleeping hours is optimal for students, which can promote their learning and also good for their body health.