Features Magazine News Volume 70, Issue 2

Online School’s Sleep and Stress

By Ally Hoogs

Graphic by Jane Wilson

As the new quarter starts, students are settling into assignments and new expectations in their online classes, some more than others. While sleep and the workload piling onto students stuck at home behind screens is unnoticeable for a few, many agree that they are more stressed. Students report that stress forces them to get less sleep than in previous school years.

In a recent poll, Las Lomas students were asked about the amount of stress and sleep during online school, compared to previous years of in-person learning. Out of 130 respondents, 68% felt that they are receiving more work than the past year. 21% felt little to no change in the load of stress, and 12% felt they were given less than what they were accustomed to.

Senior Nathan Seaway commented, “I get an equal amount of work as in the past, whereas I do less activities like hanging out with my friends and sports that reduce my stress,” which makes online school more taxing.

Freshman Yasmeen Anwar noticed, “I’ve gotten more sleep than I did over summer, but some days it’s a lot less than others. Online learning makes [the workload] a bit hard to deal with, but I’ve felt less stress with time.”

For others, it is not so much the workload that affects them, but the way it is administered via the online learning platform, Canvas. Sophomore Rachel Chan explained that “it’s very overwhelming to deal with all the work when everything is due at some random time. I have assignments due at 9A.M., 3:30P.M., 5P.M. and 11:59P.M..” She also mentions her teachers assigning a lot of work on Monday takes the whole day to finish, upping her stress.

The amount of work and time that it takes to complete certain assignments by their due date seems to be the common detail that takes sleep away from students. Sophomore Bogdan Yaremenko said, “I’m feeling more stressed overall because I have to sit at home and look at a screen all day, and then sit at a screen all day on the weekend too because of homework.” He mentions that this makes him stay up later to finish assignments. 

48% of students reported that they are getting less sleep than before, while 25% say that they are gaining valuable rest. The remaining respondents conceded that they are not seeing a difference in sleep, or haven’t noticed much of a change.

Senior Shreya Sinha mentioned, “School doesn’t start as early, and I am less tired during the day.” She further explains that she has lower stress levels “because I have more time to do work in between classes and after classes.”

Maya Chatterjee, a freshman, said that the only reason she is stressed more is because it’s a little more difficult to do everything online, “sometimes it’s difficult to understand things as well,” further saying that she likes “being able to physically point things out.”

The learning styles and speeds that students complete assignments can also be a factor. While some do their work faster, others take more time to process and retain information. That can differ the amount of time and stress someone experiences, which can affect how they respond to new homework and their ability to get significantly more rest.