Since the beginning of the quarantine, I have noticed that I myself have started to let go a little bit. I’m not making my bed in the morning or getting dressed in anything further than pajama bottoms and a t-shirt but of all these things I’ve most noticed myself getting to bed later. I have a feeling that many of the people around me are experiencing this same sort of lack of motivation that I am feeling and I get the notion that my story is one that resonates with a lot of people. I wanted to look into the sleeping patterns of some of the people in our community and get to the bottom of how this quarantine has affected the sleeping patterns of people around us for better or for worse.
I myself have never been a very disciplined sleeper, going to bed late on weeknights and even later on weekends. I’ll sleep well past noon and by the time I wake up it’s only a few hours until dinner. Sometimes, I’ll go to bed so late that by the time I finally get in bed to fall asleep, I pause and consider if it’s even worth it to go to bed at all given that it’s already getting light outside. So in general I was already a pretty bad sleeper, but given that this quarantine has pushed back the start of our day by an hour and I no longer have to wake up at 6:45 in the morning to get on the bus to get to school, I am now able to use that extra few hours to catch a few more Z’s. Nowadays my sleep schedule looks a little bit like lights off at 1:30, asleep by 2:30, and waking up with just a few minutes to spare before rolling out of bed into my chair just in time for class. And that’s on the weekdays, on the weekends it gets a little worse. Remember how I was saying that sometimes I would sleep well past noon and into the evenings? By now that has happened more times than I can count on my own two hands. Not only have I been noticing that I’m getting less sleep, but my sleep isn’t as healthy anymore. Every time I wake up in the morning I just want to shut my eyes again and fall asleep for another few hours, I just don’t recharge as well as I did during the normal school year.
My story is similar to that of many students in the community, some have even mentioned to me that they too have been noting a difference in their sleep schedule and a decrease in the quality of their sleep. When talking with my friends the subject comes up quite often as people complain about how, “Class starts too early” and, “I’m getting to bed later…no motivation.” Our schedule is not to blame, during the regular school year, students have to be disciplined about when they go to sleep and especially when they wake up to make sure that they get enough sleep for school. But when class is happening on a computer screen at home it feels like it doesn’t really matter. School turns into a series of hypothetical questions, what if I didn’t go to class? What if I didn’t do my homework? What are they gonna do about it? We simply have to take a second to remember that the teachers and the administration is doing the best they can and we need to be sure that we are giving them the same respect and passion that they are to make this experience the best it can be. This starts with having a disciplined sleep schedule, one that allows us to recharge and reset every day so that we can be the best in class. For me, this means getting to bed earlier and when my alarm goes off in the morning, getting out of bed despite how appealing the snooze button seems. Getting a good night’s rest is key to making sure that one is present in class so that this experience can be the best it can be.