Have students taking online classes during the Covid-19 pandemic slept more? Here’s what the study says | Health
Different teaching strategies imposed by schools during the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in dramatic differences in when and how much students sleep, according to the results of a new study.
The results of the study were published in the journal “SLEEP”.
Notably, students receiving online instruction without live lessons or scheduled interactions with teachers woke up the latest and slept the most.
Students who received face-to-face instruction in schools woke up earlier and slept the least.
From March 2020, as states and cities imposed closures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, schools and school districts began teaching children in very different ways.
Some schools have retained in-person instruction in school buildings. Others have moved on to hybrid education. Some have gone entirely online.
There were considerable differences in the schedule requirements (eg, specific start time, day-to-day variability in scheduled instruction).
Online options also differed. Some schools required students to register for online classes at specific times and to interact directly with teachers.
Other schools did not offer scheduled lessons and the work of the students was entirely self-directed.
From October 14 to November 26, 2020, researchers recruited American teens in grades 6 to 12 via social media (Facebook and Instagram) to examine associations between instructional approaches, back-to-school hours, and sleep during school. Covid-19 pandemic.
The teens chose one of three teaching approaches for each day of the week (Monday to Friday) during the previous week: in person; online / synchronous (live online lessons or interactions with teachers); or online / asynchronous (online, but without live lessons or scheduled interactions with teachers).
The researchers received complete data on the sleep outcomes of 5,245 adolescents in the United States.
For in-person teaching days, 20.4% of middle school students and 37.2% of high school students reported getting enough sleep (at least 9 hours for middle school and at least 8 hours for high school).
For students taking live online classes, 38.7% of middle school students and 56.9% of high school students reported getting enough sleep.
But over 62% of middle school students and over 81% of high school students who take online classes without live lessons reported getting enough sleep.
Students, both in middle and high school, slept more if they started school later.
However, even when students had the same early start times, more students who took online courses that required them to enroll at specific times were getting enough sleep than students receiving in-person instruction.
“Without the required transportation time or the time to prepare for school in the morning, online students were able to wake up later and sleep more,” said Lisa Meltzer, lead author of the study. .
For middle school students, a start time of 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (in person or online with live lessons) allowed the largest proportion of students to get enough sleep.
For high school students, it wasn’t until the online school day started between 8:00 a.m. and 8:29 a.m. or later that the percentage of students getting enough sleep exceeded 50%.
For in-person instruction, 50 percent of high school students only got enough sleep when the start time was 9:00 a.m.
Hybrid schedules, which included at least one day of in-person instruction, were associated with the greatest night-to-night variability in bedtime, waking times, and amount of sleep.
âInconsistent sleep patterns and lack of sleep have negative downstream effects on adolescent health,â Meltzer said.
âThus, it is important that education and health policy makers consider the consequences of early and varying school start times on high school student sleep,â Meltzer concluded.
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