Class Shouldn't Start Until 11 for Most College Students

Most students' brains aren't ready to learn at 8am
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2017 4:48 PM CDT
We're Making Our College Students Wake Up Too Early
   (Getty Images/skynesher)

The world is making its college students wake up too darn early, according to a study recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. NPR reports researchers sampled dozens of college freshmen and sophomores to figure out what time of day was best for their brain performance. While most colleges have classes that start at 8am, the study found classes shouldn't start until after 11am to foster the best learning in students, according to a press release. While it's not the same for everyone, people in their teens and early 20s typically have a different biological clock than their elders. "It's like making an adult wake up at 5am every single day," researcher Jonathan Kelley tells NPR. "It is just not a good idea."

The study shows colleges need to offer more afternoon and evening classes, but it's not so simple as pushing everything later due to students' different "chronotypes," Quartz reports. The study found a two-to-one ratio of "night owls" to "early birds." But that's still a lot of morning people. One solution is offering more online classes that allow students to start whenever they're best ready to learn. Researcher Mariah Evans says changing schedules is free for colleges and could be more effective than other performance-improving methods schools are spending a lot of money on. (A camping trip can get the body's sleep cycle back on track.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.