8 a.m. class: tough love or just plain tough?

Study shows optimal start time for students is 11 a.m. or noon

Nothing is as excruciating as getting out of bed early in the morning for school. It’s not uncommon for most students to lament attending early lectures.

A 2017 study by M.D.R. Evans, Paul Kelley and Jonathan Kelley offers some clues as to why getting up for class can be such as challenge. The study, which looks at the best time to start classes based on younger students’ body clock, or chronotype, finds that the optimal time for class to start is 11 a.m. or noon.

Tiffany White, the Student Association’s director of education, thinks that having later classes would help students who work at night or have family obligations.

“When I’m in those early morning classes what I find is that I am not completely tuned in as much as I am in 11 a.m. classes,” she said.

The Student Association funds The Dialog.

According to the findings of the Evans, Kelley and Kelley study, during the beginning of puberty, the biological changes tends to shift the normal wake and sleep timings by 2 to 3 hours later during the day. And at the age of 19, this shift is at its peak. Early morning lectures disrupt the timing changes and results in sleep deprivation.

For Disha Chadha, who recently graduated from the marketing program, early morning lectures were a positive incentive to live a healthier life.

“I think I am the laziest person I know,” Chadha said. “I always need a push from something so that I can always wake up early.”

Chadha said that having 8 a.m. classes allowed her to organize her exercise and eating schedule, helping her lose weight and keep her mind fresh.

A study by biologist Christoph Randler found that morning people are more proactive than their evening peers. Randler cites other studies which link proactivity to career success and higher earnings.

White said that she understands that from a college perspective, early morning classes are training students for the workplace. But there’s not much benefit to class if students are too tired to be engaged.

“You are trying to get an education to figure out what you need to know,” said White. “If you sleep for those classes, you are useless. That’s unfortunate.”


8 a.m. class: tough love or just plain tough?