Being a morning person or night owl may be hard wired

Anisa Salazar
Staff Writer

A recent informal survey found that 12 out of 20 students at the University of La Verne prefer morning classes to night classes.

When choosing classes, what time of day the classes are offered is important and personal to students’ desired schedule, what might be most beneficial to one’s study habits and life outside of school. 

“I prefer morning classes because it is a good way to start my day,” Cherie Atalor, junior computer science major, said. “I like to wake up in the morning and eat, then go to class so that by evening time I know I’m done and I can do my homework and rest. Having a class into the night messes with my psyche and also my sleep time.”

 Everyone is different when it comes to whether they are morning or night people. 

According to the Sleep Foundation, whose goal is to create dependable resources to help people take charge of their health and particularly their sleep, it may be difficult for morning people or night people to change. According to the Sleep Foundation’s 2024 piece “Chronotypes: Definition, Types & Effect on Sleep,” one’s chronotype is the natural feeling their body gets throughout the day to feel more alert or tired. Unlike training your circadian rhythm, it’s difficult to change chronotype, the piece finds.  

If a person’s chronotype function is at its peak in the morning then it would be more beneficial to take earlier classes, the article finds. 

“I hate night classes because I (prefer to go to) sleep so early,” Briana Juarez, senior business administration major, said. “Morning classes are more convenient for me.”

The Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health conducts research regarding phenomena and anomalies that are not well understood at the level of current scientific knowledge.

Their research in 2017, “Identifying the Best Times for Cognitive Functioning Using New Methods: Matching University Times to Undergraduate Chronotypes,” found that people in early adulthood have wake and sleep times that are shifted two-to-three hours later in the day, the peak of this is at 19 years old, yet many are still required to attend school or work start times that are more appropriate for younger children and older adults. 

According to the Institute’s research, aligning organization’s schedules to the people who work for them would be more efficient and productive. 

Nature Human Behavior publishes research of significance into any aspect of individual or collective human behavior. 

Their 2023 article “Early morning university classes are associated with impaired sleep and academic performancesupports delayed start times so students can sleep longer, limiting daytime sleepiness. Earlier classes, the article found, are associated with less sleep and lower grades. Additionally attendance is worse for classes that start between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. compared to later classes, the article found.

Despite the research, some ULV students who claim to be “night owls” still prefer morning classes, so that they can get them out of the way and be free the rest of the day to do other things.

“I choose morning classes because I think you have more time throughout the day once you’re done, whether that is to prioritize your mental health or just hang out with friends,” Bianca Morado, junior biology major, said.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics’ 2020 “College Student Employment ” report, 74% of part-time students and 40% of full-time students are also employed. Being employed while in school can positively or negatively impact academic performance, but it may be necessary to pay for classes or other expenses, the report found.

“I prefer night classes mostly because during the daytime I either have an internship or I work,” said Alejandra Neri, an educational counseling graduate student. “As a master’s student, evening classes are the best for me.”

Anisa Salazar can be reached at anisa.salazar@laverne.edu.

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