Sleep Is Being Slept On

The+plight+of+many+students+in+the+age+of+coronavirus%3A+in+front+of+a+screen+and+falling+asleep

Dax Murphy

The plight of many students in the age of coronavirus: in front of a screen and falling asleep

In this new realm of online learning, students are encouraged to join Zoom meetings at least 4 times a day. While many students have liked being done with classes at 12:30 every day, some have encountered problems with their sleep schedules.

For reasons no student could explain at first, students would be unable to sleep until early the early hours of the morning. This phenomenon led me to do some research. The results I found were very interesting.

As reported by the National Sleep Foundation, the wavelengths from blue lights delay the melatonin production in the brain, the chemical that allows us to go to sleep. This resets the body’s internal clock and causes the body to have to reset the production of melatonin.  This also causes less REM sleep, where the body really rests and recovers. So essentially, students wake up jet lagged. 

Having good rest, among other things, leads to a strong immune system, which is more important now than ever.”

Some students have strong opinions about this problem. Senior Walker Jay Patterson told The Sentry that “I used to go to bed around 11 and now I’m playing Xbox until 11 and going to sleep around 2 am. Needless to say, my sleep schedule is messed up.”

Another senior, Blake Painter, finds himself sleeping more in the day. Junior Riley Maddox says his sleep schedule is messed up more than it ever has been. Overall, more than 50 seniors responded that their sleep schedule is in fact thrown off balance. 

A remedy to this problem include blue light glasses, which can be found for as little as $17.99 on Amazon.com. These glasses block the wavelengths of blue light, and some students have already taken advantage of them.

Another remedy would be turning off electronics an hour before bed. This allows the melatonin in the brain to properly reset and causes a better night of sleep. Reading a book during that hour, deep breathing, and overall relaxation will cause a much deeper and restoring sleep rather than binging Tiger King until 2 in the morning. 

Quarantine might cause us to look at our screens now more than ever, but rest is a key piece in staying healthy. Having good rest, among other things, leads to a strong immune system, which is more important now than ever. So be sure to wear those glasses and press those power buttons, because having a good night’s sleep is something we all need.