Sleepwalking Through School: New Evidence on Sleep and Academic Achievement

14 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020

See all articles by Joseph Sabia

Joseph Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Kurt Wang

San Diego State University

Resul Cesur

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics

Date Written: April 2017

Abstract

Policymakers advocating for later school starting times argue that increased sleep duration may generate important schooling benefits. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study examines the relationship between sleep duration and academic performance, while carefully controlling for difficult‐to‐measure characteristics at the family and individual levels. We find that increased sleep time is associated with improvements in classroom concentration as well as increased educational attainment. However, we also find evidence of diminishing returns to increased sleep. We estimate an “academic optimum” number of sleep hours of, on average, 8.5 hours per night. Turning to sleep quality, we find that the onset of insomnia‐like symptoms is associated with diminished contemporaneous academic concentration, but little change in long‐run educational attainment.

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Sabia, Joseph and Wang, Kurt and Cesur, Resul, Sleepwalking Through School: New Evidence on Sleep and Academic Achievement (April 2017). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 35, Issue 2, pp. 331-344, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3593651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12193

Joseph Sabia (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

Kurt Wang

San Diego State University

Resul Cesur

University of Connecticut, School of Business - Dept. of Healthcare Economics ( email )

School of Business
2100 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
15
PlumX Metrics