Lecture start time and sleep characteristics: Analysis of daily diaries of undergraduate students from the LoST-Sleep project

Emerging evidence shows that later high school start times are associated with increased sleep duration; however, little is known if this extends to the university setting. This study investigated associations of first lecture start times with sleep characteristics among university students.

Seventy-five percent of first lectures occurred before noon. Students reported short sleep (M = 7.0 hours, SD = 1.9) and fewer reported highest levels of sleep quality (42.8%) and restfulness (24.8%) when first lectures started at 09:00 or 09:30 compared to 10:00 or later. Every hour delay of first lecture start time was associated with 15.1 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.5; 20.7) minutes increase in sleep duration and higher odds of reporting the highest levels of sleep quality and restfulness. Focusing on attended lectures starting before noon, hourly delay of first lecture start time was associated with 37.4 (95% CI: 22.0; 52.8) minutes increased sleep duration. Bedtime, sleep time, and sleep onset latency were not significantly associated with first lecture start times.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Lucy Swinnerton MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Andreea A. Moldovan MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Carly M. Mann MSc, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Simon J. Durrant DPhil, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Michael O. Mireku phD, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology