Is Sleeping the Key?

Human Health and Behavior
Lorelei Swanson

Lara Huetter

My scientific process project is about the sleep schedules, patterns, and habits of junior high students and how they differ between, and affect, individuals. I designed a survey that aims to show the answers to this question by finding out elements of the sleep schedules of students around that age, such as what time they went to bed, woke up, and the emotions that they were feeling prior to sleep. I personally struggle a lot with procrastination and stress building up and leading to lack of sleep, and I wanted to know if others feel the same way. I figured that if I could figure out what was causing sleep problems for both me and many other junior high students that I know, I could find ways to improve the circumstances that lead to these irregularities and make sleep even just slightly easier for some people. I suspected that like myself, other students who often feel stressed or suffer from procrastination have more irregular sleep patterns that could be potentially harmful to their overall health, mentally and physically. I found this to be, for the most part, true— there was a large window of time, between 8:45 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., within which subjects went to bed, and far more reported feeling negative emotions before sleep than positive emotions. So, my hypothesis was partially correct; the more stressed a student is feeling, the more sporadic their sleep schedule (which I found because some students filled out my survey multiple times with different responses, and I was able to come to this conclusion using groups of them). The results of this project could be very useful to other junior high school students that struggle with stress, and could be used to figure out ways in which we can overcome the problems that cause these and build up a better outlook for our general health.

Project presentation

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