Getting Enough Sleep During Remote Learning Can Be A Nightmare


“Blue Turnate in a Dark Room” by Laurence G.R. is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Daisy Koffler

Teenagers battle to manage their incredibly demanding lives with the body’s need for sleep. A study in 2011 revealed that by their senior year of high school, students in the U.S. get an average 6.9 hours of sleep per night. 


Nationwide, sleep deprivation among teens is constantly talked about by parents, schools, and doctors. The CDC advises adolescent Americans on the sleep they should aim to get each night, recommending eight to ten hours per night for children thirteen to eighteen. For a lot of us, ten hours of sleep is an unattainable dream. 


Students typically struggle to get enough sleep as they simultaneously juggle academic work, extracurriculars, home responsibilities, and seeing their friends. Furthermore, it’s inevitable that everyone gets distracted sometimes. Phones and the internet have significantly amplified these issues for kids. 


During remote learning, junior Caroline Campbell gets around seven hours of sleep each night. 


“I usually go to sleep around 1 am and wake up at 8:30. Sleep is important to me but it’s often overlooked because I have so many other priorities,” she shared. “One thing that stops me from going to bed early is watching TV and doing my homework.”


Besides a due date on Google Classroom, there’s no one to hold us accountable during classes. Students attending school on Zoom have to contend with the distractions of home both during and after school hours. The difficulties of plowing through identical days is impeding the sleep of WESS students. Although some of the usual conditions of our lives are on pause, distractions and stress are bountiful and prioritizing sleep is exceedingly difficult for many.  


Junior Lee Kreshtool admits her sleep has worsened since her days of in-person school. 


“In remote school I get less sleep. I’m addicted to my phone [and] I also have more hobbies…I get distracted from the time more easily now,” Kreshtool said. 


Kreshtool’s not the only one experiencing this. Junior Lulu Blakely has been facing similar obstacles and isn’t getting the sleep she wants.


“I try to get at least six to seven hours [per night]. Obviously I would like nine [hours], but I’ve been going to sleep around one or two [am],” Blakely explained. 


Like Kreshtool, Blakely finds that her phone plays a huge role in keeping her from bed. 


“My phone [is a distraction]…Tiktok keeps me up,” Blakelyadded. Her advice to others is to delete the social media apps off their phone. “If only I could stick to my own advice,” she said. 


Some students at WESS have been able to design effective sleep schedules to cope with remote learning.


Junior Madden Shuffler gets over eight hours of sleep each night, which he attributes to going to bed a reasonable time. 


“Remove your phone from your room before you go to bed so it doesn’t distract you,” is what Shuffler recommends for other students. 


Sophomore Yelnur Abdushev feels he’s been getting enough sleep almost every night this year. He usually sleeps from 11 pm to 7 am Monday through Friday. 


“One tip I would give to students struggling enough sleep is to have a schedule,” he said. 


Freshman Eloise Gordon values getting quality rest at night because she knows how important it is for her. She estimates sleeping 8.5 to 9 hours each night, but confesses even this much can be deficient. 


“I never feel like I get enough sleep. I don’t think I have felt fully well rested since I was in elementary school….There are a couple things that stop me from getting enough sleep. It can range from physical pain…to just bad stress,” Gordon told. 


Stress and pain are sensible reasons as to why someone has trouble falling asleep, and it’s something most of us experience from time to time. 


“Take sleep medication if you need it…once in it a while it doesn’t hurt and it can be really helpful,” Gordon suggested. 


Students aren’t the only ones feeling online work and school intrudes on sleep. High school Spanish teacher Jessica Katz agrees her time and sleep have been impacted by remote teaching. 


“I always wish I got more sleep,” Katz explained. “Stress and worrying makes it difficult for me to sleep well. I also have trouble disconnecting from work. Since I get emails on my phone, it’s hard to not constantly be checking emails and Google Classroom notifications.”  


Disconnecting work and school from our personal life is what many of us find to be the most plaguing aspect of online learning. When your room has turned into a classroom, it’s hard to dismiss yourself. 


“Try to set a time at which you will stop doing work and just relax! Also, try to read before bed instead of looking at a screen. It makes a big difference,” was Katz’s advice. 


It can be hard to ignore our phones and content on the internet. Getting lost in a screen eats away at lots of time before you realize it. When work piles up, and one is faced with the decision to either get in bed or lose a couple hours of sleep to catch up. 


Ultimately, getting enough sleep can be the key to having good days full of energy and productivity. Sacrificing sleep to catch up on work one night will set you back in new ways come the next groggy morning. Even if you can log into Zoom from bed, honor the body’s need for deep sleep and strive for eight to nine hours each night.