Rachel DeAngulo   –   Ransom Everglades School   –   Miami, FL, USA

Lessening the average high school work load to increase sleep would be beneficial to students’ mental and physical health, along with their education.

Easier said than done.

– a very wise man

At my high school students are constantly stressed, sick, exhausted, and/or just generally down due to high stress lives. I believe this is related to the amount of homework we are given every night non-stop. If classes cut-back on the amount of work, students could get more sleep, thus performing better in classes and other activities. And isn’t that the whole point of homework? To perform better? A proper night’s rest helps students perform well too.

So how do we “get more sleep”?


High school teachers on average assign about 3.5 hours of homework each week. For high school students who typically have five classes with different teachers, that could mean as much as 17.5 hours each week.


I propose homework loads be capped at an hour and a half each night, but teachers should aim lower than that. I think an hour and lower is a reasonable amount of work. The decrease in homework will not affect a high schooler’s education. It should help them concentrate, listen, problem solve, and learn better in class, which will boost their true understanding of material and ideas. Happy and healthy high schoolers are better students than exhausted, sick, and sad ones.

Students would be more encouraged to complete their work and it wouldn’t have to come at the cost of sleep!

I’ve assigned payoffs to each outcome based on short and long term effects. This is why each outcome based on the amount of homework is different than the other. Based on this, the solution for the students Grades and Sleep lies where the teachers assign less work and the student does said work. The Pareto Optimality also sits here if one was to graph each payoff coordinate as (Sleep, Grades). To clarify, the grade and sleep payoffs bring into play long term effects on the students mental and physical health when the homework pattern is consistent, I am working with averages here. Included is also the assumption that as grades worsen, mental and therefore physical health will as well, causing a negative feedback loop. Remember the actual values don’t mean anything, just when compared to one another, but feel free to ask questions!

Works Cited and Consulted

Gavin, Mary L., ed. “How Much Sleep Do I Need? (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, February 2019.
“New Infographic on Youth Mental Health.” New Infographic on Youth Mental Health
“Sleep for Teenagers.” National Sleep Foundation.
“Students Spend More Time on Homework but Teachers Say It’s Worth It.” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report.
Witmer, Denise. “Discover How to Help Your Teen Get the Sleep They Need.” Verywell Health. Verywell Health, February 26, 2020.
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  1. April 27, 2020 by Maile Cheung

    Hi Rachel! I can totally agree with you. I think it’s ridiculous how much work some teachers give their student each night. People at my school are also really stressed and don’t get enough sleep due to the amount of homework that we get. I have always wanted a decrease in the amount of homework because most students spend roughly 8 hours in school, and when they are done with school, they should be able to come home relax, go to sports practice, spend some personal time, etc. If students get enough sleep, I think it’ll be a lot easier for them to learn in school instead of them falling asleep in class. I enjoyed your project overall, with the different use of font colours and I also enjoyed the way you presented your project with visuals and such! Great job!

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