Online School and Sleep Patterns

Avari Wang, Staff Writer

Arguably, the biggest difference between online school and regular school is the change in school setting and the lessened physical interactions that students and teachers have with each other. However, this is not the only important change, considering also the sleep schedule differences that people have had as a result of online school.

It would seem that online schooling would take loads of pressure off of students’ shoulders, referencing the drastic reduction in school hours and increased convenience to study resources at home. Unfortunately, there are many other negative factors that outweigh these benefits.

For example, at home, students have more access to various distractions such as cell phones and other electronics, family members, pets, or even the comfort of their own homes (being too relaxed might affect concentration). At regular school, students would be prevented from being distracted by these particular examples. More disturbances lead to lower work efficiency, therefore resulting in later sleeping times.

“I thought I would get to sleep longer every night because of COVID, but actually it turned out to be quite the opposite,” said sophomore Dania Azher.

Many other students agreed with Dania, saying that taking classes through the screen is detrimental to their sleep.

Another reason why students have been sleeping less because of online school is because of their lessened motivation to study at home.

“At school, I got to interact with everyone, which definitely made school a lot more tolerable,” said freshman Isabella Chen.

Again, as stated above, this also leads to lowered work efficiency. Admittedly, Isabella is a freshman, and thinks that part of the reason why she is sleeping a lot less is because of the transition between eighth and ninth grade, so this may have caused her opinion to be biased.

Based on a poll asking how many hours of sleep students lost compared to the previous school year, the average amount was about two to three hours, with a few outliers such as five “lost” hours of sleep and two “gained” hours of sleep.

Online school is also shorter in hours compared to regular school. Many students believe that their teachers are now assigning more homework to compensate for the limited school hours. This is another reason why online school would shorten sleeping times.

Sleep deprivation is scientifically proven to affect academic results, brain development, and mental and physical well-being, all in negative ways. However, most high school students experience this due to the increasing workload that schools give students as the years progress. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate these, it seems that online school has harmed, instead of helped, students’ sleeping schedules.