Balancing sleep, stress, grades

Isabella Sandoval

When it comes to teens’ priorities, achieving good grades is usually on the top of the list. Most high schoolers find themselves so consumed by getting good grades, that they might pull a few all-nighters studying for a test, or perhaps working on a project. 

While these may sound like normal occurrences to most teens, are grades really worth losing sleep and taking on the burden of immense stress? 

The simplified answer is no, you shouldn’t be sacrificing sleep to study for a test or to work on a project. Getting a good night’s rest is equally as important as studying to ensure that you perform your best in school. 

According to Forbes, there is a definite link between the amount of sleep students get and how they perform in school. Students that get 8 or more hours tend to get As, and students who get 7 hours or less of sleep tend to get Cs or lower. It’s obvious that studying and doing homework helps your GPA, but getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial, too. 

(Read Marin Worley’s article “Tips to stifle stress” that quotes the National Children’s Hospital saying the amount of sleep necessary is more like 9-9.5 hours each night.)

So, how is it possible to maintain good grades and still get the right amount of sleep? The key is balance. If students find a way to manage their time in an effective way, it is possible to study for the necessary amount of time while still getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. 

Another common issue for teens that goes hand in hand with lack of sleep is stress. Chances are, every high schooler has experienced stress in some form or another, school related or not. 

According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, one of the most prominent causes of stress in teens is academic pressure. However, are good grades really worth stressing over? 

Sophomore Katie Gazda shared her opinion. “I find myself stressing over my classes pretty often, but I should definitely try to lessen it somehow and I think I should try to worry less.” 

Sophomore honors student Anna Sako admits, “Particularly for me, it’s not the coursework that worries me, it’s managing my time that I stress over. Some classes require more attention than others.” 

While it is expected of students to be conscientious about their schoolwork, it is unnecessary to let it completely consume you. Excess stress can have dangerous effects leading into adulthood, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. 

Stressing over grades may seem understandable for adolescents, but compared to the long term effects of it, it definitely is not worth it when your health is on the line.

In simpler terms, students should be concerned about their grades to an extent, but it shouldn’t produce overwhelming amounts of stress. Keeping calm and drawing back when necessary is essential to make sure one does not overdo it. 

Yes, achieving good grades can ensure that students can pursue a college career that ultimately leads to a degree and a job, but this shouldn’t mean that teens should sacrifice their sleep or mental health to get there. 

Just do your best and relax!