Hitting the snooze button is considered a regular occurrence for both students and teachers. Students used to say, “only five more minutes mom,” jokingly. Those five minutes have adapted into pressing the snooze button several times and reluctantly getting out of bed only moments before class starts. With the lack of school settings, laying in bed for a few extra minutes is possible, and throwing on a day old hoodie is perfectly acceptable.
Getting good sleep has been an issue for a while, considering that going into quarantine has interfered with many sleeping schedules. “Since quarantine, I have started staying up way later than I used to,” said Matt Hall, “my old bedtime was about 9:30, my quarantine bedtime is probably at least 11.”
For junior Noah Ling, his sleep schedule is at a completely different time. “On weekends, I usually stay up until three a.m. and wake up about 10,” said Ling, “on school nights, I go to sleep around 12 or one and wake up at eight.”
Hall admits that on some nights, he will stay up late if he gets pulled into a show on Netflix. “I’ve been known to stay up till like two,” said Hall, “so in the morning, obviously if I’m staying up later at night, it makes it harder for me to get out of bed.”
Stephanie Carrera has a complicated relationship with sleep, all caused by her volleyball club. She said, “normally, I would go to bed around 10:30 and wake up at 6:50 on the weekdays.” Carrera has later nights on the weekends and typically goes to bed around 11:30 or midnight, depending on what she is doing the day of or doing the next day.
Hall, Ling, and Carrera agree that waking up in the morning is more demanding than falling asleep at night. Waking up after a late-night binge session is one of the most formidable challenges for Hall. He said, “it’s harder to wake up in the morning, especially on those nights when I have an ill-advised binge session; not good.”
Carrera is easily distracted by her phone in the evening, and her overthinking makes it harder to fall asleep. Ling agrees and said, “I think technology makes sleeping harder for this generation because there are so many things to do, such as watching Youtube videos, being on social media, or playing video games.”
“On a daily basis, I’m able to sleep in until 7:50 because I don’t have to pack lunch, I don’t have to shower, and I don’t have to eat breakfast; it’s pretty great in that regard,” said Hall.
Students argue that schoolwork gets in the way of sleeping often. “My environmental sciences teacher throws a lot of work on us every day, and it’s always due by midnight,” said Carrera, “so then I have to think about what classes to prioritize, and I get stressed about not getting enough sleep, and then I don’t feel motivated.”
It’s easy to get caught up in schoolwork when you have other commitments and other stressors continually interfering with your schedule. Ling said, “staying at home all the time makes getting work done online a lot harder because of all the distractions, and you’re not really in an area to be forced to do it.”
Limiting distractions is easier said than done. With almost every school district back online, students with siblings are more likely to have distractions worse than before. There is also the temptation to fall back asleep, turn the TV on to a favorite channel, and completely tune your teacher out.
“At the beginning of quarantine when there wasn’t school, I stayed up all night and slept all day,” said Ling, “ever since it’s been bad because life isn’t as serious right now, everything is online, so it’s not as professional.”
The transition to remote learning was also extremely difficult for teachers. After continuous rescheduling, Mountain View students returned to school in a hybrid format. All too soon, school districts were shut back down and asked to return to remote learning.
“I found myself staying up later and waking up later, but when school started again, I had to force myself to get back into my normal school routine,” said Carrera. The lack of routine has taken a toll on students because with all the change happening, it’s hard to stay on schedule.
Hall says, “for the most part, it’s kind of nice to be at your house and not have to go anywhere, but also, going somewhere is nice too, and it kind of recharges you a little bit; especially when you’re very social like me.”
If you’re having trouble sleeping, studies suggest that you take a break from technology because the blue light prevents you from falling asleep immediately. It is also beneficial to consider going to bed at a strict time and waking up at a routine time. According to healthysleep. med, this practice helps your body maintain your internal clock.
Teens are guilty of spending too much time on their electronics nowadays. “I think with technology, you can get caught up in it, scrolling through social media or playing a video game for hours,” said Ling, “all that time flew by.”
Instead of saying five more minutes, it might be beneficial to stick to a schedule as best as possible. Staying attentive in class isn’t always easy, but getting out of bed and finding a workspace that suits you and won’t make you sleepy, is ultimately ideal. Keeping a reliable sleep schedule will make things appear normal and aid in overcoming the challenges of remote learning.