Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 512–524 | Cite as

Sleep and Student Achievement

  • Eric R Eide
  • Mark H Showalter


We explore the relationship between sleep and student performance on standardized tests. We model test scores as a nonlinear function of sleep, which allows us to compute the hours of sleep associated with maximum test scores. We refer to this as “optimal” hours of sleep. We also evaluate how the sleep and student performance relationship changes with age. We use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics-Child Development Supplement, which includes excellent control variables that are not usually available in sleep studies. We find a statistically significant relationship between sleep and test scores. We also find that optimal hours of sleep decline with age.


sleep PSID-CDS test scores academic achievement 

JEL Classifications

I21 J22 J24 



We received very useful comments from participants at the 2007 International Health Economics Association meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark. Taft Foster provided excellent research assistance. We also appreciate the excellent suggestions from two anonymous referees and the editor. This work was partially funded by a grant from the College of Family, Home, and Social Science at Brigham Young University.


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Copyright information

© Eastern Economic Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric R Eide
    • 1
  • Mark H Showalter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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