Waking up late could only be natural for teenagers as their circadian rhythms - the cycle of sleep and wakefulness - typically begin two hours after those of adults, suggesting that scheduling school time according to adolescence biology could help kids do better.

To test these findings, a multi-million pound research project, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in Britain will investigate a variety of ways in which neuroscience might improve teaching and learning.

Thousands of 14-16 year-olds are to be given the chance of a lie-in and a later start to the school day to assess the impact on their educational achievement as part of a mass research project.

Professor Russell Foster, director of Oxford University' Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, and Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at the Oxford University, will lead a trial of later school start times, along with a sleep education programme, to assess their impact on teenagers' educational achievement.

"What we are doing in the study is exploring the possibility that if we actually delay the school start time until 10 a.m., instead of 9 a.m. or earlier, that additional hour taken on a daily dose over the course of a year will actually improve learning, performance, attainment and, in the end, school leaving qualifications," Espie was quoted as saying.

The project will involve 106 schools and almost 32,000 teenagers, The Guardian reported.


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