The factor: Remember when you were in college and your late-morning classes gave you a chance to wake up early and get a head start on your studies? Yeah, neither do we. Later classes meant you could stay out late the night before and sleep in.
The not-so-obvious: Other research has shown that starting school later in the day is beneficial for middle and high schoolers in several ways: They get more sleep, skip school less, and show a boost in mood and grades. Feeling guilty for subjecting her students to 8 A.M. classes, St. Lawrence University psychology professor Pamela Thacher set out to determine whether college students would reap the same benefits. But while later class start times allowed students to snag more sleep, it turned out they experienced poorer sleep and more daytime sleepiness, possibly due to greater alcohol consumption. They also scored lower grades.
The takeaway: Encourage your kids to take an early morning class: It may boost their GPA and dissuade them from partying too hard the night before.