Scientists to test if lie-ins for teens improves results

The study will look at the impact of sleep on exam results. Credit: J.M. Guyon - Copyright 2014/Candybox Images/Press Association Images

A team of scientists lead by academics at Oxford University is attempting to discover if having a lie-in could improve exam results.

Around 31,800 14-16-year-olds at 106 schools are due to take part in a sleep study over the next two years to examine the impact of a good night's sleep.

In the first year, one group of students will start lessons at 10am, one will receive sleep education, a third will receive both and a fourth group will have neither.

As part of the study, pupils may be asked to keep sleep diaries and some will wear electronic devices that monitors sleeping patterns.

Researchers will look at the impact on GCSE results, as well as other areas such as the effect of devices such as mobile phones and tablets on sleep.

Colin Espie, a professor of sleep medicine at Oxford University, said:

The study will explore the possibility of starting school at the later time of 10am, instead of 9am or earlier, to see if the extra hour will improve learning, and lead to better GCSE results.

This latest sleep project follows a pilot from a few years ago, when Monkseaton Community High School in North Tyneside started running lessons from the later time of 10am. It found that pupils, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, scored better GCSE results.