Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903

The Record

Sleep Experiment

Two Upper Division students volunteered to sleep at least eight hours every night for seven days and track how getting extra sleep affected their mood, concentration, and lifestyle, in general.

Elizabeth Raab and Joshua Benson

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Elizabeth Raab

When The Record asked me to participate in this sleep study, I was unsure I would be the right subject. Although I do not get eight hours of sleep every night, I definitely prioritize sleep and go to bed early, usually before 11 p.m. How much difference could sleeping an extra half hour per night make? It turns out, a lot.
When I started the experiment on Sunday night, I was stressed about the coming week. I planned on staying late at school several days for tennis practice and the athletic banquet. In terms of academics, I had a daunting week: a chemistry test, French presentation, and math problem set were all due or scheduled on Friday. As a first trimester senior, I was also nervous about a college interview that I had to arrange for the next week. On top of all that stress, I had to worry about going to bed by 10:30 every night, meaning I would either have to finish my homework faster or not do some of it at all.
Sunday night, I got to bed early and slept for more than eight hours. The next day, Monday, I was able to do something I hadn’t been able to in a few weeks: put in my contact lenses before boarding my bus. It sounds trivial, but I had been storing my contacts in my backpack, walking to the school bathroom entirely disoriented and unable to recognize anyone, before correcting my vision. This ritual wasn’t the best way to start my mornings, so after eight hours of sleep, easily slipping in my lenses was a real gift—a small miracle every day that week. Sleeping even just a little bit more had other benefits, too. I felt more focused in classes, more engaged in conversations with my friends, and calmer when I started my homework every night.
Sleeping more did not solve all my problems, though. It did not make my chemistry test any easier. It did not cure my stress dreams. It even created a few problems when I did not have that extra half hour to finish my assignments and had to go to school without having completed all of my homework. Overall, though, that week taught me that no matter how much stress I am under, I can take one important step to feel better: get just a little more sleep.

Joshua Benson

When The Record asked me to participate in this sleep study, I was unsure I would be the right subject. Although I do not get eight hours of sleep every night, I definitely prioritize sleep and go to bed early, usually before 11 p.m. How much difference could sleeping an extra half hour per night make? It turns out, a lot.
When I started the experiment on Sunday night, I was stressed about the coming week. I planned on staying late at school several days for tennis practice and the athletic banquet. In terms of academics, I had a daunting week: a chemistry test, French presentation, and math problem set were all due or scheduled on Friday. As a first trimester senior, I was also nervous about a college interview that I had to arrange for the next week. On top of all that stress, I had to worry about going to bed by 10:30 every night, meaning I would either have to finish my homework faster or not do some of it at all.
Sunday night, I got to bed early and slept for more than eight hours. The next day, Monday, I was able to do something I hadn’t been able to in a few weeks: put in my contact lenses before boarding my bus. It sounds trivial, but I had been storing my contacts in my backpack, walking to the school bathroom entirely disoriented and unable to recognize anyone, before correcting my vision. This ritual wasn’t the best way to start my mornings, so after eight hours of sleep, easily slipping in my lenses was a real gift—a small miracle every day that week. Sleeping even just a little bit more had other benefits, too. I felt more focused in classes, more engaged in conversations with my friends, and calmer when I started my homework every night.
Sleeping more did not solve all my problems, though. It did not make my chemistry test any easier. It did not cure my stress dreams. It even created a few problems when I did not have that extra half hour to finish my assignments and had to go to school without having completed all of my homework. Overall, though, that week taught me that no matter how much stress I am under, I can take one important step to feel better: get just a little more sleep.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
Sleep Experiment