Monday, September 3, 2012

Students Need To Sleep BEFORE Class

It's Labor Day, and I'm already feeling like the old cantankerous curmudegeon that I usually become in February. I'll blame the July and August heat.

One of the statments that angers me and turns me into the curmudgeon by February is parents' statements about their students' study habits. The conversation goes something like this:
Me: Your young'un has failed a couple of quizzes.
Parent: I don't know what to do; the young'un studies way past midnight every night.
I am always tempted to responsd that the learning that goes on in a bedroom after 1 a.m. probably has little to do with what happens in the classroom, but I also want to stay employed, so I refrain.
Now, I have a scientific answer: MAKE THE YOUNG'UN GO TO SLEEP. Scientific American reports,
In a new study, scientists had more than 500 high school students document how long they studied and slept over two weeks. They also had them note any negatives during that period—things like not understanding a lecture.
The researchers found that the students who studied a lot at the expense of sleep had significantly more issues than those who kept a more balanced study schedule. The academic issues typically came the day after sacrificing sleep.
The article also brings up something I've long believed. The students who balance studying, rest, and their social life tend to study more than those who claim they put in the long marathon sessions:
Overall, those students who studied the most still had the best grades. But researchers note that those same students tended to keep a consistent schedule, and did not vary the length of study or sleep time. It was the irregular sleep schedules in particular that correlated with more academic problems.

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