Struggling to stay awake

Mateya McCord, Reporter

When it comes to student’s sleep schedules, the green and fully remote learning modes are at odds. Many student’s grades have been low which is evident in their assignments, and green mode has made it difficult for many to remain awake in class as depicted by their teachers. Staying awake in class has long been a challenge for students, but many express that the pandemic is making the problem far worse. 

According to Healthline, getting up and moving, participating and sticking to a sleep schedule can help students stay awake in class. Freshman Karlyn Archibald says that she got more sleep during the remote schedule and that she could stay awake easier in remote class because there were distracting factors involved.

I get less hours of sleep in green mode than when I’m in the remote [mode of learning],” Archibald said. “I had things that kept me distracted from overthinking or being bored in my online classes. Unlike at school where the voices can be drowning and it makes me tired.”

According to a school-wide survey, approximately 73% of students say they have trouble staying awake in green mode and that 70% of other students in their classes fall asleep as well. Math teacher Keri Unruh says she can help students stay awake in her class by keeping classwork and homework minimal so students have time to rest when they need it. 

I think students are tired but I don’t necessarily know if it is related to COVID. I try to keep outside of class work minimal so that they have their time to rest when they need it. I think students sometimes take on working too many hours, or too many extra activities that relate more to their sleeplessness than COVID does. We talk in my class about the statistical advantages of getting enough sleep,” Unruh said. “In fact [recently] I mentioned in all my classes that statistically they would do better on a test if they get a good night’s rest rather than staying up and trying to cram.” 

On the other hand, junior Gabriella Mayes has a split opinion on the subject. Mayes says she has noticed she gets tired during her classes at school. She also says that occasionally it was hard for her to stay awake in online classes because after her naps it would make her even more tired. 

During the green schedule I have noticed that I start to get heavy eyes in some classes. I think it’s because I usually would just take a nap after I finish my work and wait for my next class,” Mayes said. “It was sometimes harder to stay awake in remote because after those naps I would have to log in again and sometimes I would fall back to sleep if I didn’t get out of bed or didn’t have to turn on my camera.”

Overall, most students at NHS say that they struggle staying awake in green mode because of their sleep schedule, teachers assigning too much work and many other reasons. Archibald says that she and other struggling students can help themselves to stay awake in class by paying attention and fully being involved in the class. 

“One thing that helps me stay awake in class is to engage in class discussions,” Archibald said. “I might also consider going to bed early to have more energy during the day.”

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