COVID-Induced Homeschooling—More Sleep for Teens
written by/ February 7, 2022
Undeniably, the mental and physical price that we’ve all been paying during the pandemic will leave lasting consequences on our overall well-being. However, a massive online survey has pointed at an unexpected positive side of pandemic-caused homeschooling as well. s
The respondents were 3,600 Swiss teenagers, whose statements have led researchers to the conclusion that online classes gave high-schoolers an additional 75 minutes of sleep each day.
More precisely, with no need to commute to school, students got up 90 minutes later during lockdowns than they had before the pandemic. Although the teenagers went to bed about 15 minutes later, with the longer sleep time, they achieved a substantial sleep gain.
This comes out to an additional 6 hours and 15 minutes more weekly, resulting in significant benefits to their health. For instance, the respondents reported feeling well-rested and invigorated.
In the eyes of sleep experts, these results are another proof that school should start later for this age group. Namely, during puberty, the circadian rhythm changes and makes adolescents fall asleep later.
The so-called sleep phase delay is a natural phenomenon that shifts sleeping time by about two hours. Yet, school classes start at the same time. This results in irritability, tiredness, lack of concentration, all due to sleep deprivation.
What’s more, this is far from being the only study showing these results—a large body of evidence seems to suggest the same.
However, whether this change in schools is implemented or not, it’s important to educate teenagers and adolescents on the benefits of proper sleep hygiene and maintaining a healthy sleep environment.