COVID-19’s Impact on Student Sleep Patterns

COVID-19s Impact on Student Sleep Patterns

When school started up again at the beginning of 2020, Fauquier County Schools were closed due to the global pandemic Covid-19 after only three months of school. Since many schools were only halfway done, students had to start taking online classes, however, it didn’t work out very well. Many students had all sorts of reactions to having four to five months with almost nothing to do, and with Covid-19, they had to cancel many travel or vacation plans. People were also advised to social distance and try to stay at home as much as possible.

With not much to do, this impacted their sleep schedules the most. Students specifically would probably be impacted by the sudden change the most. The students from Liberty had many diverse answers.  Many claimed that Covid-19 impacted their sleep schedules in a negative way.

“My sleep schedule was very messed up because of Covid-19. I couldn’t see my friends in person because they could’ve been sick or something and then I would’ve spread it more and the problem would be around more, so instead of risking meeting in person, we resorted to talking and texting on the phone. However, I was busy during the day and they were as well so I stayed up late at night talking with them. When we would finally stop talking it would be late at night and I would wake up early almost every morning,” said freshman Devon Hash.

“I got a lot less sleep while school was closed; I suppose my body was accustomed to my old schedule. My old sleep schedule was for school, where I would go to bed early to get up early but since there was no school, I didn’t have a reason to go to bed early. I spent a lot of the time playing video games and did what I wanted to but I got sleepy around nine. With my regular sleeping schedule, when I stayed up past that time I would wake up at my original wake-up hour. It eventually stopped after a few weeks but since Covid-19 ended school abruptly, it ended up giving me a few sleepless nights and lack of sleep,” said freshman Quentin Holbert.

“When quarantine began I got a lot more sleep because every day there wasn’t anything to do besides household stuff so I slept in a lot. Now that schools are open again, it has been a difficult and grueling task to get myself to a normal schedule. People would say that sleeping in is great but after four to five months of sleeping in, it just becomes difficult to go back to a relatively normal sleep schedule,” said freshman Dominic Howard.

Even though some students were impacted in a negative way, some said they were impacted in a positive way.

“Covid-19 actually impacted me in a positive way because when school was open, I would spend my nights on my phone until I just fell asleep, which lead to less sleep. I did continue to do that over quarantine but the difference was that there was no school, so I slept in and I had more energy during the day,” said freshman Dylan Wehrle.

“I got more sleep when school was closed and I would say that was a positive impact because some nights I would stay up late watching tv shows or doing something else because I wouldn’t feel tired. However, watching tv shows just kept me up later and I would wake up late, so when school ended up closing due to the pandemic, I slept in more and I felt like I was actually getting enough sleep and during the day. I never felt tired or unaware of things around me,” said freshman Ashley Barton.

While everyone was in quarantine, many researchers and doctors noticed that people who lacked sleep had personality changes, both minor and major. One student admitted that they had some changes personality wise.

“I did have my own personality change. Naturally when I am lacking sleep, I tend to be more aggressive and easily agitated, which you can tell by my body movement and the sound of my voice. The issue is more or less gone now because now I have to focus on school instead of doing nothing all the time,” said Howard.

Although only one student claimed to have had a personality change in a negative way due to lack of sleep, the other students had a mixture of responses relating to the topic.

“I did not have any personality changes in a negative way but since I was getting more sleep, I was feeling more energetic which made me in a more jolly or happy mood,” said Barton.

“The lack of sleep did not impact my personality. I felt tired during the day and I felt like I could go to sleep anywhere on anything but my personality stayed the same,” said Hash.

“Since I got more sleep, I felt energetic and ready for what the day would bring for me. I was and still am more productive; along with that, I feel like I can complete everything I need to get done in my day to day life. Covid-19 helped me by allowing me more sleep and I can now easily adjust to any sleep schedule so I can continue to be a productive person and student,” said Wehrle.

“I did not have any changes in my personality during quarantine. The only change that happened was when school started again. I created a new sleeping schedule for the new year and it is going great so far; in the mornings I am in a much better mood than I was over quarantine,” said Holbert.

Covid-19 definitely impacted sleep schedules in a negative way more but now with students in school, it seems they have started to go back to a normal schedule that is helping them become more productive and attentive.