A Student’s Sleep Crisis


Amid of COVID-19, the 2020-2021 school year,  students been divided into three different schedules: five days on campus, hybrid (part time on school and part time at home) and eLearning. During these times, a student’s sleep schedule is often swept under the carpet as their amount of sleep has changed significantly because of the new schedules. Needless to say, COVID-19 has affected fellow students’ sleep schedules indefinitely and may continue until the school year ends.

Before COVID-19, students were attending school for five days per week and many were able to operate on their normal sleep schedule. Being able to sleep at the right time and wake up in time for school, students showed up on time and performed at their own pace. Katie Jones, senior, stated, “Well before COVID we were at school, so it was like…I go to bed at like midnight and wake up at like six. So, six hours a night, I could run on that, that was fine.” Jones was able to withhold six hours of sleep before COVID-19 and spent her time staying up doing homework or studying for an assessment.

After the eLearning experience, students went through last school year, students are now able to operate at home or must show up to school by 10 a.m. For these new changes, students with different school schedules have changed their hours of sleep.

A visual of a teen failing to stay awake while studying (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Compared to last school year, during this school year, Jones says, “Now it’s like 2 a.m. to six, and it’s really downing me.” Jones discusses how she had slept during her math class on one occasion because of her lack of sleep, only four hours of sleep. Originally, she stayed up to study or finish homework, but now because her schedule has a lot of electives, she basically spends an hour doing them. Her new purpose for staying up is spending time reading literature (currently she is reading “The War of the Worlds,” by H. G Wells).

The changes based on COVID-19 are not just targeting our seniors. From freshman to seniors, every student has had a noticeable shift to their sleep schedule. A sophomore this school year with eLearning schedule, An Tran, states, “Before COVID I was getting like a good eight to nine hours of sleep for school.” But now, Tran’s answer has changed; he says that he now gets eight hours of sleep, but he stays up until three or four in the morning and wakes up at noon.

He states that his performance is acceptable currently, but because he is not in a school environment, he feels like “In school, I have more of a motivation to learn” while at home, procrastination takes place.

“Yeah, staying at home is the only reason I sleep this late because I can actually configure my schedule, and like actually adjust it to when I want to do work or when I want to take breaks to play games,” stated Tran. With his schedule configuration, he would spend time at night playing with friends or watching shows.

Since the start of spring break, no one had realized how much of a change 2020 would offer. The announcement of changes to how education would function, students and teachers had to adjust to new norms. The coronavirus has not only affected the world, the economy, the political environment, the workplace, the classroom, but it is advised that students should uphold a good portion of sleep every night.