Is Quarantine Ruining Students’ Sleep?


With online learning, the pandemic has paused day-to-day routines. In-person schooling, events, club activities, sports, and other affairs have been canceled, which has given students more free time at home. But has more free time allowed students to fix their sleep schedules or worsen them?

Students have seen their sleep schedule fluctuate with the sudden downtime, causing people to lose track of time during the day.  

Alyana Castro, a junior at North Hollywood High School, claims, “It’s gotten worse because I rarely have anywhere to go so I’ve been more inconsistent with time.”

On the other hand, Adriana Rivas, a junior at North Hollywood High School, counters, “My sleep schedule has gotten better during the quarantine. There are some days where I go to sleep at 1, but it’s mostly on the weekends.” 

With the thought of students having extra time at home, teachers tend to assign more homework than usual, which doesn’t help students sleep earlier. Castro explains, “I always have something that I could be working on every day and some teachers post everything weeks in advance and I want to get as much done as soon as possible.”

Unlike Castro’s teachers, some don’t post the work weeks in advance, which leaves less time for students to work on the night of. “I get my homework done early and sleep earlier.” Since there’s not much to do after school, Rivas can get her work done once online classes end. 

Most students had a set routine for the regular 8:00 am to 3:00 pm school day. However, the new “bell” schedule implemented at North Hollywood High School may throw off some routines.

Lauren Alam, a senior at North Hollywood High School, expresses, “It was pretty consistent, but I was lacking a lot more sleep before the quarantine.”

“Before quarantine, my sleep schedule was perfectly fine. I would wake up around 6:30 am and go to bed around 9:00 pm.”

Although having more free time can lead to being unproductive, it allows students to catch up on the sleep they weren’t able to get when in-person school was in session.

Rivas says, “Having extra downtime now definitely has allowed me to get more sleep.” Students sleep more with only having homework and chores to do at home, instead of preparing for after school activities. 

Alam expresses that she was able to sleep more with extra free time. “Since everything’s online now, I don’t have to wake up early to get ready for school or any meetings, instead I just wake up and hop on right onto zoom.” 

Sleeping more may not always be a great thing as it leads to people feeling a bit more tired when they wake up. Students try to fix their sleep schedule to avoid feeling weary.

Castro comments, “I plan to wake up and go to bed earlier so there’s some repetition. Even though I get more hours of sleep now, I still wake up tired and not as energized until it’s late at night.”

Rivas also plans on fixing her sleep schedule by sleeping earlier. “I go to sleep by midnight at the latest now. I plan on trying to work my way up to 10 pm. I’m going by small intervals at the moment and going to sleep at 11:30 pm.” It may be difficult for students to suddenly try to sleep earlier, so changing the times little by little will be a perfect way to start. 

The change in sleep schedules and feeling tired in the morning may affect the students’ ability to learn. Alam explains, “I often find myself distracted or just tired in the class so I just kind of doze off here and there. This mostly happens at the end of the day.” 

Castro claims, “It affects my ability to concentrate and focus on key details in class sometimes, but the amount of sleep I have isn’t harmful to my ability to learn.” 

Students may find themselves dozing off a bit in class, but they are still able to learn the material.

Having more free time during quarantine has allowed students to catch up on sleep, but also make them feel tired during the school day. However, more sleep has helped improve the health of students overall. Quarantine allowing extra free time may be a blessing in disguise for students.