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In Germany, school usually starts at eight in the morning. No consideration is given to the individual biorhythm of young people. As a result, the so-called “owls”, people who are more difficult to get up in the morning, are disadvantaged. Experts are committed to starting school later.
Dead tired in the first lesson
During the first lesson, many teenagers sit dead tired in class. Because according to a study, many of the 12 to 20 year olds are so-called "owls", reports the news agency dpa. “Owls” are evening types that stay active longer at night and reach their peak performance in the afternoon or evening. In the mornings, they are more difficult to get out of their feathers. The "larks" sleep type is opposite them: they wake up in the early morning and reach their most active phase relatively early in the day. The study by a German-Italian research team comes to the conclusion that those who achieve their highest levels of performance in the afternoon or evening have a harder time at school.
Early risers perform better in school
The scientists from the University of Bologna (psychology) and the University of Teacher Education Heidelberg (biology) published their results in the renowned journal "Chronobiology International". For their investigation, the researchers analyzed 31 studies with more than 27,300 participants. They wanted to find out what impact different types of sleep have on academic performance. "We have viewed all studies on the subject worldwide and subjected them to a meta-analysis," said Professor Christoph Randler in a press release from Heidelberg University of Education. It was shown that the evening types perform worse on all continents than early risers.
Students have more freedom
In addition, the scientists announced that it could be demonstrated for the first time that this effect is more pronounced in adolescents than in students. The researchers assume that this has to do with the fact that the start of school is firmly prescribed for young people, while students have a certain freedom with regard to their daily planning. According to Randler, the latter can learn more in accordance with their biorhythm. To make matters worse, young people between the ages of 12 and 20 experience a strong evening or night orientation. And many of them have enormous sleep problems. For example, a recent study by Norwegian researchers found that sleep disorders in adolescents through screens - whether television, computer, smartphone or game console - are widespread.
Required to start school later
According to the scientists in the current study, “owls” are clearly outnumbered. Nevertheless, the school was still tailored to “larks” when it started early. That disadvantages the "owls". Randler explained: "The evening types are just as intelligent as early risers, they just have to call up their performance at the" wrong "time." As a consequence of their work, the international research team demands that school start - at least from the seventh grade - be postponed. Randler said: "9 a.m., many scientists agree, would be a good time." (Ad)