With most school schedules starting early in the morning, or getting to bed at a reasonable time can make or break a student’s ability to function in class. For a night owl student, it can be nearly impossible to be alert during an 8 a.m. math class (which, as we will see, can mean that tutoring sessions later in the day can help a student ‘recover’ from lost time in class which was spent being sleepy). Interestingly enough, new research suggests that a night owl student tends to end up with a higher paying, more successful career than early risers.
Can bedtimes affect success?
You’ve probably heard the saying “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. A recent article from The Independent, an online news source, suggests that this saying isn’t necessarily true. Some students have a habit of staying up late and sleeping in, and in turn struggle to function at school. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their brains are not capable of comprehending the subject material, but they may be more productive later in the day, once they’ve had a chance to fully wake up.
More students have late night tendencies
Studies have found that a lesser percentage of students naturally go to sleep early and rise early, and a greater percentage of students are more prone to habitual late nights and later rising times. Regardless of the nocturnal tendencies of this greater percentage of night owls, school still starts bright and early.
Statistics predict better grades for night owls but in reality early risers get the grades
Early rising students are more likely to get better grades in school, but one study showed that late night students ranked higher on inductive reasoning tests. This implies that they should be getting better grades as well, but the reason they do not is because they are learning at the wrong time of day.
Since schools have set schedules that start early in the morning, how can a night owl student be helped to succeed?
Since we can’t change the hours of day that the public school system operates just yet, parents with children who stay up late should still help their kids get to bed at a reasonable hour so they can get at least 8 hours of sleep. Some teenagers need even more sleep than younger children. On average teens get less than 8 hours of sleep, leaving them tired and unable to function at their full capacity during the school day.
If your late night teenager is struggling in school, consider setting an established study time or tutoring session in the late afternoon or evening for your child to work on schoolwork. It could be that they learn the subject matter just fine during a tutoring session later in the day as opposed to morning classes at school. If your child is a homeschooler, consider homeschooling tutoring appointments later in the day to see if it helps with comprehension.