Morning classes are the worst in college. I’d rather sit through every single one of M. Knight Shyamalan’s terrible movies than wake up at the crack of dawn for higher learning. That probably explains why I never had a class earlier than 10:00 A.M. during my collegiate days. But now a new study suggests that may have actually been very smart of me to do.
According to a new study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, early classes can actually be detrimental to your learning ability. In fact, some researches are even pushing colleges to offer more classes later in the day, NPR reports.
HA! Take that, Mom and Dad. I wasn’t lazy, I just had foresight…I’m getting off topic.
The study found that the majority of college students aren’t in prime learning mode until around 10:00 or 11:00 A.M. Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno and the UK’s Open University surveyed 190 freshmen and sophomores about their sleep schedules and productivity to determine how effectively their brains function at different times of the day.
Surprise, surprise: the researches found that most college-aged kids can’t perform at peak level early in the morning. Now before you start arguing that their lethargic early morning natures are due to excessive nighttime drinking, let me first hit you with some good ‘ol fashioned biology.
“There has been evidence over time from specific studies indicating that teenagers’s body clocks are set at a different time than older folks,” Professor Mariah Evans, a co-author of the study, told NPR. “It has nothing to do with laziness. It’s not in their control. It’s to do with their bodies.”
Basically, forcing young students to awaken from their slumber at 7:30 A.M. and endure a three-hour Western Civ lecture about Hammurabi’s Code is equivalent to waking up an adult for work at 5:00 A.M. and expecting top shelf results.
Science folk have long argued that middle and high schools should start later in the day and that extends to colleges that serve a ton of teenagers.
“We want the students to learn,” said Evans. “We go to great lengths to increase academic performance with methods that are less effective than the free solution of just changing the timings.”