Subjective sleepiness and sleep quality in adolescents are related to objective and subjective measures of school performance

Annemarie Boschloo, Lydia Krabbendam, Sanne Dekker, Nikki Lee, Renate De Groot, Jelle Jolles

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    This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sam- ple of 561 adolescents aged 11–18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness – “I feel sleepy during the first hours at school” – appeared to predict both school grades and self-reported school performance. Sleep quality on the other hand – as a measure of (un)interrupted sleep and/or prob- lems falling asleep or waking up – predicted parent-reported school performance. Self- and parent-reported school performance correlated only moderately with school grades. So it turns out that the measures used to measure either sleep or school performance impacts whether or not a relation is found. Further research on sleep and school perfor- mance should take this into account. The findings do underscore the notion that sleep in adolescence can be important for learning. They are compatible with the hypothesis that a reduced sleep quality can give rise to sleepiness in the first hours at school which results in lower school performance. This notion could have applied value in counseling adolescents and their parents in changing adolescents’ sleep behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number38
    Pages (from-to)14-18
    Number of pages5
    JournalFrontiers in Educational Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2013


    • sleep
    • adolescents
    • school performance
    • sleep duration
    • sleep quality
    • sleepiness
    • school achievement
    • self-report
    • parent-report


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