sleep schedules affected by quarantine

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

Instead of catching disease, students are using the extended break to catch some Z’s. 

Since Mason City Schools’ announcement of an extended break, followed by a shift to online classes, many students have found themselves readjusting their sleep schedule. Since they no longer have to wake up before 7:45 a.m. to make it to school, many of them have shifted their sleep schedule to one that fits them better.

Since the break, Junior Nandana Nair said her sleep schedule has shifted notably due to the lack of a rigid schedule that school would otherwise provide. Instead, she finds herself staying up later and sleeping for longer periods of time. 

“In the beginning, it was okay, because I was getting more sleep than I had when school was still going on, but after a week or two it collapsed because I was staying up while watching Netflix or on my phone, or I would be talking to my friends since I don’t get to see them a lot, and I would wake up really late, around 12 or one,” Nair said. “The latest I’ve woken up was like two.” 

Since students don’t have to go to school, they also find themselves sleeping more. Sophomore Kejdi Kurti, like Nair, said that he was using the extra time to sleep more. 

“During school, I’m only able to get 3-4 hours of sleep,” Kurti said. “[Now] I feel happier and less stressed, […and] I feel like everyone is more upbeat and happy now that they have more time to sleep.” 

With the extra sleep, senior Regan Morton said she finds herself feeling a lot more awake during the day. Because of that, she said she can focus more on the work she has to do. 

“When I get enough sleep, I’m able to focus a lot better,” Morton said. “Usually in my first and second bells, it can be hard to pull myself together and focus for the whole period, so waking up later helps me with being able to focus right when I wake up instead of me being tired.”

Even though students have more time to themselves, Nair said she still finds difficulty working on assignments outside of school. Due to the time spent in the same place, and the lack of schedule, focusing on classwork can become more difficult. 

“I feel like a lot of us are so unmotivated by now because we haven’t stepped out of our house,” Nair said. “One thing about school is that you go to school and see all these people, and that’s part of the experience. It motivates me to learn, because I’m with people that I like, I get to talk to them and interact with them, but now that I’m in my room for a really long time, just working on these assignments and staring at a screen, it’s kind of unmotivating.”

Because of the lack of schedule, Morton said, it has become more difficult to adjust to online classes. As teachers begin scheduling meetings earlier in the day, it can be difficult for her to wake up on time.

“With online schooling, I’m kind of in the mindset that I’m still on break, so I’ve been going to sleep at like 4 a.m.,” Morton said. “I know that sounds really bad, but I’ve mostly been watching netflix and doing stuff until 4, so I’ve been waking up anywhere between 12 to 2 in the afternoon. I’ve started to miss teachers’ zoom sessions and stuff like that, so it’s starting to get in the way of school.“

Even with the additional rest, Kurti faces difficulty finding motivation for the work he is assigned. He said that this is most likely due to the current events that are happening, instead of any issues with sleep. 

“I find it harder to focus now,” Kurti said. “I’ve been trying to do online learning and all that, but it’s hard to get back on track most of the time. I think that’s just the current situation, with not being able to go outside and just being stuck at home. 

As school starts again, Morton said that her parents are not particularly happy about her new sleep schedule. Since her mother is a teacher, she is still on a regular schedule, and Morton said she wants others in the house to be as well. 

“My mom comes into my room every day and tries to wake me up, she’s like ‘you need to be doing something right now,’” Morton said. “I think she’s given up, but she used to come into my room around 10 (a.m.) if I wasn’t awake, but when you go to bed at like 4 (a.m.) or 5 (a.m.), waking up at 10 (a.m.) is not possible.”

Kurti said his parents have similar frustrations. Since they do not see him for a majority of the time he is awake, he said that they don’t see him as being productive. 

“(My parents) wish I was up earlier in the morning and that I was more productive,” Kurti said. “They don’t think I’m being very productive since I don’t have much to do at home.”

Even with the issues that come with a new schedule, Nair said, the benefits of being able to sleep more are still prominent. 

“I feel better now that I’m getting more sleep,” Nair said. “I used to get like four or five hours for the entirety of the week, and then over the weekend I would get actual sleep. Now that I’m not going to school and I get to sleep in a bit more, I feel a lot better.”

Illustration by Henri Robbins.