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Later Class Start Times in College Linked to Binge Drinking


College students who start their classes later in the day are more likely to drink more alcohol and binge drink, compared with students who get an earlier start, a new study has found.

The researchers studied 253 college students, who were asked to perform cognitive tasks and to keep a sleep diary for a week. They were asked about class schedules, sleep, substance use and mood. Students with later class start times stayed up later, drank more alcohol and engaged in more binge drinking, HealthDay reports. They also earned lower grades.

The findings were presented at SLEEP 2011, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting in Minneapolis.

“Later class start times predicted more drinking, more sleep time and modestly lower grades, overall,” co-lead author Pamela Thacher, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, said in a news release. “Later class start times seemed to change the choices students make: They sleep longer, and they drink more.”

4 Responses to this article

  1. maxwood / June 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I think the issue is, whether an early class the next day will deter someone from overindulging tonight. Much binge drinking is an attempt to progress socially– i.e. impress a date or get accepted into a gang of peers– rather than invest one’s time early in the day in acquiring education and career potentials.

  2. Lew Bryson / June 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    “Later class start times seemed to change the choices students make: They sleep longer, and they drink more.”


  3. Avatar of Barry Sharp
    Barry Sharp / June 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Finally a good reason for scheduling those 8 a.m. required courses I had to take way back when.

  4. Joshua / June 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    really? “ability to drink large quantities” is at the top of anyone’s wish list in qualities of a good dateit that a very small amoutnt of binge drinking is an attempt to progress socially, and a large part of it is that people enjoy the feeling of drunkenness. and they will do more of it if it costs less (be it money, or missed class)

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