Here's Why Students Fall Asleep During Lectures

John Medina, in his book Brain Rules, introduces data that forms the following graph:

The data shows that student attention level takes a dive, approximately 10 minutes into a lesson. This is a natural occurrence (and I believe the reason YouTube videos were initially limited to <9 minutes), but can be dealt with by a good instructor. The problem is most instructors (particularly at the university level) know next to nothing about the learning process and instructional theory. A good instructor will introduce variation into a lesson every 10 minutes to regain the students’ attention (as depicted in the below graph).

This variation can be accomplished in many ways – from inserting a student activity to asking questions or otherwise soliciting involvement from the students to changing the delivery style or mechanism.

The problem is that so many instructors see instructing as a one-way communication. If a student is not contributing to the communication, they lose focus and many literally go to sleep.

There are other triggers for sleeping during lessons, such as eating a large meal immediately before the lesson, poor ventilation in the classroom, and tired students.

More From Quora:

What zero gravity games have astronauts invented?

Is a 100% literacy rate a good thing?

What is it like to do a PhD in experimental physics?

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.