Report Poor grades tied to class times that don’t match our biological clocks

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    It may be time to tailor students’ class schedules to their natural biological rhythms, according to a new study from UC Berkeley and Northeastern Illinois University.

    Researchers tracked the personal daily online activity profiles of nearly 15,000 college students as they logged into campus servers. After sorting the students into “night owls,” “daytime finches” and “morning larks” — based on their activities on days they were not in class — researchers compared their class times to their academic outcomes.

    Their findings, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, show that students whose circadian rhythms were out of sync with their class schedules – say, night owls taking early morning courses – received lower grades due to “social jet lag,” a condition in which peak alertness times are at odds with work, school or other demands.

    “We found that the majority of students were being jet-lagged by their class times, which correlated very strongly with decreased academic performance,” said study co-lead author Benjamin Smarr, a postdoctoral fellow who studies circadian rhythm disruptions in the lab of UC Berkeley psychology professor Lance Kriegsfeld.

    In addition to learning deficits, social jet lag has been tied to obesity and excessive alcohol and tobacco use.

    On a positive note: “Our research indicates that if a student can structure a consistent schedule in which class days resemble non-class days, they are more likely to achieve academic success,” said study co-lead author Aaron Schirmer, an associate professor of biology at Northeastern Illinois University.


    Read more here. (University of California, Berkeley)
     

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