Not only are kids spending huge amounts of time working on homework each week, they’re also getting super stressed out about it, and losing vital sleep in the process. The teens who spend the most time and energy stressing about homework see their grades suffer for it.
To come to their conclusions, the Better Sleep Council surveyed just over 1,000 high school kids, ages 13 to 19, about their homework habits, their sleep habits, and their stress levels.
However, the schools themselves likely need to take a hard look at their homework policies and curriculum to help kids reduce their stress levels and improve their sleep.
Some elementary schools have taken up a “no homework” rule, and parents are torn — but it’s too early to know if that extreme is working or not.
Studies of typical homework loads vary: In one, a Stanford researcher found that more than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive.
The research, conducted among students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities, found that too much homework resulted in stress, physical health problems and a general lack of balance.The disparity can be explained in one of the conclusions regarding the Brown Report: Of the three age groups, 17-year-olds have the most bifurcated distribution of the homework burden.They have the largest percentage of kids with no homework (especially when the homework shirkers are added in) and the largest percentage with more than two hours.At the same time, kids are stressed about their schoolwork.Grades, tests, and homework were far and away the greatest stressor for students, ranked above peer pressure, parental pressure, self-esteem issues, trauma, violence, and bullies.A shocking 67 percent of kids reported only getting 5-7 hours of sleep per night (teens need 8 or more for their healthy development).It seemed that the more homework kids did, the less sleep they got, and the more disturbed sleep they reported.Homework is an important part of engaging students outside of the classroom.It carries educational benefits for all age groups, including time management and organization.Over three out of four students felt stress related to their academic success.Both large amounts of homework and large amounts of stress were tied to less sleep.