Students Compromise Sleep For Homework


Brynja Lockman

Many students have hours of homework each night.

Most students have stayed up late to get an assignment done at least once. For many, this is routine. In fact, it’s very common for high school students to have hours of homework– on top of extracurriculars, sports, and jobs. Trying to balance everything can be a near-insurmountable task.

Unfortunately, sleep often suffers as a result. The CDC reports that teenagers (13-18) should get about 8-10 hours of sleep per night. However, around 92% of Knight Errant survey respondents reported getting less than this amount.

For sophomore Mason Rokala, getting less sleep means a lack of focus in the classroom. Rokala has about 4 hours of homework and an additional 3-4 hours in sports every day, and he doesn’t get many breaks. He’s just one of the many BSM students that are stressed by their workload, and for Rokala, it affects his academic performance.

…Sometimes [I get a] worse [grade] because I stay up late studying and then I’m tired the next day,”

— Mason Rokkala

“I kinda just give up when I am failing tests/quizzes/the course because I don’t feel there’s a point to trying. [B]ecause I do try and then I still get the same grade. Sometimes [I get a] worse [grade] because I stay up late studying and then I’m tired the next day,” Rokala said in an email interview.

Junior Julia Lealos also feels overworked, but she takes a different approach. Her strategy is to finish as much homework as possible in class, and finish the rest as soon as she can. Unlike Rokala, Lealos prioritizes sleep over homework. “I get a good amount of sleep…I’m very happy to say nine hours is perfect for me. So I feel like when…I get that amount of rest…then I can really focus and get the homework done at school,” Lealos said.

In order to get nine hours of sleep, Lealos sometimes has to make compromises. Towards the end of last semester, she started to worry about getting her homework done on time. “I feel like sometimes when I know that a teacher won’t check an assignment, or they won’t check to see that I actually finished the assignment then I won’t do it. I usually think that I could just finish it in homeroom,” Lealos said.

In a survey, 67.1% of respondents from BSM say that they feel more overworked than last year. A majority of these respondents also say that their levels of homework cause stress, and limit their sleep. These stress levels aren’t unique to BSM, either. A 2019 Pew Research report found that academics is the biggest stressor for high school students. Shifts in learning as a result of the pandemic have also changed stress levels, contributing to potential overwork.