(03) 9590 6000 | info@drstudylearning.com.au

dr study white background
It is a face-to-face or online assessment for students to develop the right programme for them, and to find the right tutors for them.

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Learning?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Do you know how your ability to learn can be negatively impacted by not getting enough sleep?

    Do you know how getting a good night's sleep can affect your ability to learn? It's not a secret that getting a good night's sleep is important, but do you know how it can affect your learning ability?

    It has been found that one's ability to learn can be negatively impacted by not getting an adequate amount of sleep in a variety of different ways.

    In this piece, we'll take a look at some of the most significant ways that a person's ability to learn new information can be negatively impacted by not getting enough sleep.

    When you have a better understanding of these effects, you will be better able to take steps to ensure that you get sufficient amounts of high-quality sleep each and every night!

    Looking for a primary school program? Dr. Study offers an online and in-person program that helps kids learn English, Maths, Science and Humanities. 


    Lack Of Sleep Affects How Kids Learn

    Kids typically have a difficult time getting a full night of sleep.

    This is especially important to keep in mind for children who have trouble focusing their attention or calming down on their own.

    If children do not get the amount of sleep that is recommended for them each night, it is possible that their academic performance will suffer.

    Here are four different ways in which a person's ability to learn can be negatively impacted by not getting enough sleep.

    Limits Planning And Organisation Skills

    When children do not get enough rest, it has an effect on the mental processes that they go through.

    There is a possibility that it will temporarily impair the part of the brain that is accountable for organisation, planning, and the resolution of issues.

    Children who are overly exhausted, for instance, are more likely to misplace their school supplies.

    As a consequence of this, rather than focusing on their schoolwork, they waste a considerable amount of time searching for things. Alternately, they might have a harder time organising their assignments in terms of importance and keeping a steady pace while they are taking tests.

    Worsens Mood And Behaviour

    Children who are overtired frequently display behaviours such as irritability and silliness.

    It's possible that they won't have as much self-control as they normally do when faced with this challenge.

    Additionally, it's possible that they experience feelings of frustration or anger more rapidly than other people do.

    They have a shorter fuse than most people, so it's possible that they won't be able to finish their homework or do well on their tests.

    In addition, if they allow their feelings to get the best of them, they might end up in the principal's office instead of the classroom.

    Reduces Focus And Attention

    Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived have brain waves that occasionally revert into patterns characteristic of sleep even while they are awake. This occurs even though these individuals are not asleep.

    This helps explain why exhausted students appear to "space out" while they are in the classroom.

    Children who do not get the amount of sleep that is recommended for them are at an increased risk of becoming easily distracted.

    They are prone to making sloppily thoughtless errors. In addition to this, it can be challenging for them to concentrate on their schoolwork while also paying attention to what the teacher is saying.

    Hampers Memory

    An insufficient amount of sleep can have a detrimental effect on one's memory.

    The brain has a harder time concentrating when it doesn't get enough sleep, which makes it more difficult for it to remember new information.

    The inability to get enough quality sleep can also make it more difficult to form new long-term memories and to retrieve old ones.

    When children are overtired, it is more difficult for them to remember what they have just read or heard, which can cause them to finish their work more slowly. If they are taking in new information, there is a possibility that by the following day they will have forgotten what they have learned.

    What Is The Effect Of Poor Sleep On School Performance?

    It is generally agreed upon among specialists in the field of sleep that insufficient shut-eye can have a negative impact on a child's or adolescent's cognitive abilities and academic performance.

    The vast majority of studies regarding sleep deprivation have been carried out on adults; however, it is believed that many of the same effects can occur in younger people. Even though there have been fewer studies done on the effects of lack of sleep on children's academic performance, the evidence that is available suggests that poor sleep can harm academic achievement in a variety of ways.

    A direct way that sleep and school performance are connected is through effects on mental function. Some known problems associated with lack of sleep include:

    • Decreased attention. Concentration is vital to learning and academic achievement, but insufficient sleep reduces attention and focus.
    • Impaired memory. Sleep provides a time for memory encoding when the brain stores and strengthens the recollection of an image or thought. Without adequate sleep, you may not properly form memories, and it may also be more difficult to recall stored information accurately.
    • Slowed processing. Short sleep may reduce sharpness, slow reaction time, and hinder the ability to take in and analyse analysation quickly.
    • Worsened sequential thinking. The ability to remember a series of steps, such as in a science experiment or playing a musical instrument, is reduced when sleep is curtailed.
    • Reduced creativity. Creative thinking relies on making connections between diverse ideas, and some research has found that this type of mental activity is harmed by poor sleep.
    • Sleep deprivation can also detract from school performance because of various effects on mood and behaviour:
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness: Drowsiness during the day, including at school, can have considerable consequences for academic achievement. Dozing off for seconds at a time, known as microsleeps, can occur in the classroom, causing a student to fall asleep at their desk. In addition to interrupting learning, teachers may view this as a behaviour problem.
    • Poor decision-making: Limited sleep can hinder the development of the parts of the brain involved in making good decisions, increasing the likelihood of risky or unwise choices that can lead to disciplinary problems in school.
    • Aggression: Some research in children has linked sleeping problems to a heightened risk of aggressive behaviour, which may be especially problematic when combined with sleep deprivation's effects on mood.
    • Irritability and mood: Quality sleep is correlated with healthy emotional regulation, making children and teens who fail to get enough sleep more likely to be irritable or upset.
    • Hyperactivity: Insufficient sleep can affect attention, and one study was associated with levels of hyperactive behaviour reported by teachers. Sleeping problems may exacerbate the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    • Depression and Anxiety: In adults and children, sleep deprivation is associated with a higher risk of depression and anxiety. These conditions can directly affect a child's overall health and school performance.

    Absences from school can also have a negative impact on a student's academic performance.

    There is a correlation between having trouble sleeping and being absent or tardy to school more often.

    Poor sleep quality is linked to a wide range of physical issues, including lethargy, headaches, and pain, all of which can contribute to absences from school due to illness. Behavioral factors may also be a factor in missed school time.

    Dr Study provides an early childhood program that is tailored to each child’s needs. We make sure that kids enjoy their start to formal education while also building confidence and a love of learning.

    How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect School Performance For Children Of Different Ages?

    Sleep is essential to the health of children of all ages, including adolescents.

    Despite this fact, sleeping problems and how they affect a child's performance in the classroom can vary greatly depending on the child's age.

    Most notably, adolescents face particular obstacles to getting enough sleep, which can lead to difficulties in the classroom.

    A biological shift that occurs in adolescents' sleep schedules around the time they enter puberty is one of the most significant challenges they face.

    This change typically moves their internal clock back by around two hours, which contributes to the tendency of adolescents to be "night owls."

    Many adolescents are unable to get enough sleep due to the fact that they go to bed later than adults and must wake up early for school or other activities.

    As a direct consequence of this, the typical amount of time spent sleeping each night falls by forty to fifty minutes between the ages of 13 and 19.

    Teenagers who do not get enough sleep are at an increased risk of suffering from the cognitive, behavioural, and physical effects of sleep deprivation, all of which can be detrimental to their performance in school.

    In addition, many adolescents have difficulty with morning classes and examinations because they tend to experience their highest levels of alertness later in the day, typically in the late afternoon or evening.

    What Are Common Causes Of Childhood And Adolescent Sleep Deprivation?

    There are a number of things that can cause children and adolescents to have trouble sleeping, and in some instances, the problem may be caused by a combination of factors. The following are some of the most common factors that contribute to youngsters having trouble sleeping:

    • Inconsistent sleep schedules: Major fluctuations in bedtimes and wake times can make it harder to establish a pattern of steady nightly sleep. While some children can benefit from catching up on sleep during the weekend, this may throw off their ability to keep a stable sleep schedule on school nights.
    • Lack of priority to sleep: Children and their parents may fail to budget enough sleep every night instead of allocating more time to studying, social life, sports, or other activities.
    • Excess use of electronic devices: It is increasingly common for children and adolescents to use cell phones, tablets, and laptops later in the evening. As many as 89% of teens reported having their phone in their bedroom at night in the National Sleep Foundation's 2014 Sleep in America Poll. These devices stimulate the brain, making it harder to get to sleep. They also emit blue light, a type of light that can interfere with normal sleep.
    • Sleep disorders: Children of different ages can be affected by sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea and other breathing disorders, restless leg syndrome, and parasomnias like nightmare disorder and sleepwalking.
    • Other health conditions: Sleep problems may be more likely in children and teens with a wide range of other conditions such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, and anxiety. Stressful or challenging circumstances at home may also play a part in sleep deprivation for some children.

    How Can Parents Help Their Children Get Better Sleep And Improve School Performance?

    It is only natural for parents to want to help their children succeed in school by doing everything in their power.

    However, given the importance of sleep for academic performance, parents have the ability to encourage healthy sleeping habits in their children as a foundational component of their education.

    Better sleep can often begin with parents having a conversation with their children about healthy sleeping patterns and the benefits of getting enough rest.

    Recognizing the importance of good sleep for every member of the household can serve as a good starting point for developing actionable strategies to improve sleep.

    As a component of this process, it is important for parents to do their best to demonstrate healthy sleeping patterns that are beneficial to their own health and serve as an example for their children.

    Putting an emphasis on sleep is an important step that many households need to take.

    The best thing that parents can do for their children is to devise a daily routine for them that includes not only the start times of school and other activities, but also enough time for them to get the amount of sleep that experts recommend.

    Maintaining a routine helps to instil healthy sleeping patterns and emphasises the significance of getting adequate rest.

    According to a number of studies, children benefit from having a set bedtime that is enforced by their parents.

    Having a set time for going to bed clarifies the schedule for the day and prevents other activities, even ones that are beneficial like studying, from gradually eating into the time that is meant to be spent sleeping.

    Children who have bedtimes that are predetermined by their parents tend to have better moods and experience less daytime sleepiness than children whose bedtimes are not predetermined by their parents.

    In addition to setting a strict bedtime, parents should also encourage their children to develop a soothing routine to follow before retiring for the night.

    It has been shown to be beneficial for young children to carry out the same routine each night in order to relax and get ready for sleep, and the practise is frequently recommended for people of all ages.

    Stopping all use of electronic devices, including mobile phones, should be a required step in the process of getting ready for bed.

    The vast majority of specialists concur that children and adults should refrain from using electronic devices for at least an hour before going to bed, and that, if at all possible, these devices should be kept out of reach while sleeping or entirely removed from the bedroom.

    Another thing that parents can do to help their children get more sleep is to make their children's bedrooms more comfortable and calming.

    Children, just like adults, have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep when they have a supportive mattress, comfortable bedding, and a room that is dark and quiet. In addition, parents should collaborate with their kids to create a reassuring and restful atmosphere in their children's bedrooms. This will allow the kids to get better rest.

    Parents should consult their child's paediatrician if their child is having significant difficulties sleeping, if those difficulties are ongoing, or if they are affecting their child's thinking or behaviour during the day. Insomnia is distinguished from occasional sleeping problems, and if a child has insomnia, a doctor can diagnose the condition and provide specific treatment recommendations.

    A child who is having trouble sleeping may benefit from having a paediatrician evaluate their situation to determine whether or not there is an underlying sleep disorder or another health condition at play.

    Preventing Sleep Deprivation In Teenagers – Tips For Parents

    Try not to argue with your teenager about bedtime. Instead, discuss the issue with them. Together, brainstorm ways to increase their nightly quota of sleep. Suggestions include:

    • Allow your child to sleep in on the weekends.
    • Encourage an early night every Sunday. A late night on Sunday followed by an early Monday morning will make your child drowsy for the start of the school week.
    • Decide together on appropriate time limits for any stimulating activity such as homework or screen time. Encourage relaxing activities during the evening, such as reading.
    • Avoid early morning appointments, classes or training sessions for your child if possible.
    • Help your teenager better schedule their after-school commitments to free up time for rest and sleep.
    • Assess your teenager's weekly schedule together and see if they are overcommitted. Help them to trim activities if they are.
    • Encourage your teen to take an afternoon nap after school to help recharge their battery if they have time.
    • Work together to adjust your teenager's body clock. You may like to consult with your doctor first.

    Top Sleep Tips For Teenagers

    The typical teenage brain wants to go to bed late and sleep late the following morning, which is usually hard to manage. You may be able to adjust your body clock, but it takes time. Suggestions include:

    • Choose a relaxing bedtime routine; for example, have a bath and a hot milky drink before bed, or use meditation or mindfulness activities. Gentle yoga may also help.
    • Avoid screens such as computers, TV or smartphones, loud music, homework or any other activity that gets your mind racing for at least an hour before bedtime.
    • Avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks in the evening.
    • Keep your bedroom dark at night. Your brain's sleep-wake cycle is largely set by light received through the eyes. Try to avoid watching television or using smartphones right before bed. In the morning, expose your eyes to lots of light to help wake up your brain.
    • Do the same bedtime routine every night for at least four weeks to make your brain associate this routine with going to sleep.
    • Start your bedtime routine a little earlier than usual (for example, 10 minutes) after four weeks. Do this for one week.
    • Add an extra 10 minutes every week until you have reached your desired bedtime.
    • Get active during the day, so you are more physically tired at night.
    • Set up a comfortable sleep environment.
    • Set up a regular wake-up time.
    • Avoid staying up late on the weekends. Late nights will undo your hard work.
    • Remember that even 30 minutes of extra sleep each night regularly makes a big difference. However, it may take about six weeks of getting extra sleep before you feel the benefits.


    Is your child struggling with school and feeling like they’re falling behind? Dr Study is offer a range of Melbourne tutors to help your child achieve success in school – and beyond. 

    Teenage Sleep Deprivation – Other Issues To Consider

    If lack of sleep is still a problem despite your best efforts, suggestions include:

    • Assess your sleep hygiene. For example, factors that may be interfering with your quality of sleep include a noisy bedroom, a lumpy mattress or the habit of lying awake and worrying.
    • Consider learning a relaxation technique to help you wind down in readiness for sleep.
    • Avoid having any food or drink that contains caffeine after dinnertime. It includes coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate.
    • Avoid recreational drugs (including alcohol, tobacco and cannabis) as they can cause you broken and poor quality sleep.
    • See your GP if self-help techniques don't increase your nightly sleep quota.


    So, what exactly have we picked up? To begin, there are numerous types of customers, and you must determine which one is most likely to purchase your product in order to be successful.

    Second, people tend to make decisions based on their feelings first, and then use logic to justify those feelings later. In conclusion, you can use the feelings of potential customers as a selling point in your marketing strategy to get them to make a purchase from you.

    FAQs About Tutoring

    Another area researchers study is a lack of adequate sleep on learning and memory. When sleep deprived, our focus, attention, and vigilance drift, making it more difficult to receive information.

    Poor sleep could affect the brain in another way. Sleep-deprived mice develop more deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain than mice allowed to sleep normally. In humans, beta-amyloid deposits in the brain are linked to declines in memory and thinking and increase the risk of dementia.

    When you learn something new, the best way to remember it is to sleep on it. That's because sleeping helps strengthen memories you've formed throughout the day. It also helps to link new memories to earlier ones. You might even come up with creative new ideas while you slumber.

    Lack of sleep can hurt memory. It's harder for a sleep-deprived brain to focus, so it's harder to remember new things. Poor sleep can also make it harder to form and remember long-term memories.

    When kids are sleep-deprived, their brains lapse into sleep-like brainwave patterns, which is why tired kids space out during class. As a result, they're more distracted, they may make more careless errors, and they have a hard time focusing on class assignments and tests.


    • Dr. Olga Abeysekera

      Olga has a PhD in Management from Monash University. Her research focused on how personal differences and social networking impact creativity in the tech industry. She has extensive teaching experience at universities and private tutoring centers, praised for her engaging methods and clear insights. Olga also writes for top academic journals and creates innovative programs that enhance skills and consulting methods. She believes in the power of education to inspire ongoing growth in both studies and careers.

    Scroll to Top
    Get a Personalised Tutoring Quote    
    Get a Personalised Tutoring Quote