The "Fight" to Later School Start Time: Research Says Studying after 11 am is Optimal to Our Learning

Khryss | Published 2017-04-12 04:19
Students nowadays are waking up early just to sleep in the first class of the day. I know, I know, not everyone have it that way, but there's actually some science in it. A recent study revealed that the most effective time of studying is actually between the 11:00 am  to 9:30 pm. (Which is wayyyy past our school start time.) The researchers utilized 190 first-year and second-year students who were asked to fill out a survey about their sleep patterns, study patterns and the times they felt cognitively active throughout the day (you can even try and answer the short version of the survey here). These were then analyzed to determine the optimal times on which cognitive performance is at its peak. Results showed that there are twice as much students that believed they are "evening persons" as those who believed themselves as "morning persons" which is likely because of their circadian cycle. "For a single start time, the data suggests that starting anywhere between 11a.m. and 1p.m. would be close to optimal for these undergraduate students... Such later start times appear likely to improve performance and to lower health risks, though practical issues and cost/benefit analysis require future research," the authors said. Dr. Paul Kelly, who led the study and is an OU Honorary Associate in Sleep, Circadian and Memory Neuroscience, also said that “This raises the question as to why conventional universities start their lectures at 9:00 am when our research reveals that this limits the performance of their students. This work is very helpful for distance learning as it allows for the student to target their study time to align with their personal rhythm and at the time of day when they know they are most effective.”
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