Gender's Effect on Hours of Sleep

Jeff S. and Michael H.

Question

Does gender affect the number of hours(average) you slept each day last year?

Hypothesis

Females sleep less than males on average.

Type of Investigation

This investigation was comparative because it compared males and females through their average hours of sleep.

Parts of the Experiment

Dependent Variable: Our dependent variable was the average number of hours slept per night during the 2014-2015 school year.


Independent Variable: Our independent variable was gender.


Control: none


Experimental group: males and females, from sophomores to seniors


Constants: Both groups that were compared went to CHS last year, and both groups ranged from current sophomores through seniors.

Data Table (Average Amount of Sleep)

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Bar Graphs

The first graph was created with error bars of 2 SEM. The second graph was created with range error bars.
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Analysis


Gender does not affect the number of sleep hours per night during the school year. Though the data showed some trends of males having more sleep than females, it turned out to be inconclusive therefore invalidating our hypothesis. The mean for males (6.6875 hours) was greater than mean for females (6.13389 hours), which suggested that males slept more than females. The t-test result of 0.03 also suggested that the data was significantly different because it was less than 0.05. However, after graphing the male and female average hours of sleep with 2 SEM error bars, the error bars had large overlapping areas, which suggested no significant difference between male average sleep hours compared to females. Due to this conflicting evidence, it was determined that the data collected was inconclusive. The ranges of the male and female datasets were also significant, with 2.5 hours and four hours, respectively. All the male error bars for range were included within the female error bars for range, suggesting no significant difference in data. In a study conducted by Kathyrn A Lee, Ph.D; Geoffrey Mcenany, Ph.D; and Delois Weekes, Ph.D, it was also found that there was no significant difference in sleep between males and females in early adolescents, with a mean of 9 hours, and a median of 9.1 hours with a variability of ± 102 minutes. Many differences in lifestyle can potentially cause differences in the amount of sleep for both males and females including school activities and workload, as well as personal preferences. (Lee, Mcenany, Weekes). To conclude, due to many differences between males and females in lifestyle and personal choice, as well as highly variable data, the data from this experiment is inconclusive.

Conclusion

Our hypothesis was proven to be incorrect, because our data was inconclusive. Females do not sleep significantly more than males.

Sources of Inaccuracies/Errors

One source of inaccuracy that affected this experiment is the fact that the target subjects varied between current sophomores and seniors. They likely received different amounts of homework last year, which affected the number of hours of sleep they got. One way to improve the accuracy of data could be to limit the targets to only one grade level for both males and females. Another source of inaccuracy was caused by the lack of exact data for the subjects. The question that the subjects were asked was how many hours of sleep they got during the school year last year, There is a high probability that most of the students do not remember exactly how many hours they slept on average last year, which could have caused inaccuracies in the data.

Bibliography

Carskadon, M. Patterns of sleep and sleepiness in adolescents. Pediatrician. 1990; 17: 5–12

Yarcheski, A and Mahon, N.E. A study of sleep during adolescence. J Pediatr Nurs. 1994; 9: 357–367


(Lab Directions, Martin)