The influence of remote learning on sleep patterns of teenagers

(1) Schiff Family Science Research Institute, Summit Country Day School, Cincinnati OH
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A healthy sleep pattern is crucial to the overall health and wellbeing of teenagers, and poor sleep patterns can harm school performance. Due to stay-at-home orders mandated by the governor of Ohio in March 2020, students were converted to remote learning. The purpose of this study was to compare the sleep patterns of teenagers before the stay-at-home orders and during remote learning. Individual chronotypes impact peak productivity, and remote learning imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to study how teenagers may take advantage of their chronotype for optimal learning. Data was collected using an online survey distributed to teenagers in the Greater Cincinnati area. The survey completed by 141 participants compared teenagers' overall sleep habits and attitude towards school before and during the remote learning period. During the stay-at-home orders, teenagers participating in remote learning extended their sleep duration by 1-2 hours, resulting in 83% of surveyed teenagers receiving healthy sleep amounts and 55% reporting feeling more rested. Sleep patterns of teenagers were also altered by the stay-at-home orders, as seen by the significant shift to later bedtimes and wake times. Later wake times and bedtimes align with the self-reported night owl chronotype reported by a majority of respondents. These results can help create more effective learning periods for adolescents that optimize personal chronotype.

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