No more sleeping like a baby

The pandemic has caused disruptions in everyday life and sleeping habits are no different. Students report a variety of sleep changes since they began social distancing.

With no in-person classes being held during the COVID-19 pandemic, Orange Coast College students have found their sleep schedules upended in a variety of ways.

Many were happy thinking they would get more sleep with more time on their hands. That, unfortunately, has not been the case.

For some, the decrease in activity has led to an increase in energy. Mary Pantoja, a 68-year-old student in the Pilates program said she is sleeping less than before.

“I did not sleep for the first two weeks of [quarantine] because I was doing absolutely nothing,” Pantoja said.

Other students said they were going to bed at extremely early hours of the morning but were still managing to get seven to eight hours of sleep. Despite a full night worth of sleep, students’ schedules have been greatly affected.

Some students have said that getting to bed later has caused their days to start much later and altered their routine.

“My sleep schedule is all over the place since this quarantine started,” Shelby Keay, a 19-year-old speech pathology student said. “I go to bed around 3 a.m. and wake up at 10 a.m.”

Some students have switched up their normal sleeping schedules in another way to combat the inability to fall asleep.

“I would try to wake up early so I could be tired earlier in the evening, I also try to stay active during the day so I am drained by the time I need to go to sleep,” Caroline Leyba, 20, a child development major said.

Others have resorted to less natural ways of falling asleep with the aid of supplements or different technology. Some have been taking melatonin candies, watching TV until they fall asleep or winding down by reading.

“If I am having extra trouble sleeping I will take a melatonin gummy right before bed and workout extra the next day so I can sleep,” said Keay.

Students have also said that they have found ways to cope with the quarantine and reduced their stress. The focus has shifted to paying more attention to family or friends on Zoom or FaceTime.

“I do not watch the news, politics, I stay away from the constant coronavirus hype,” Pantoja said. “I just talk to my friends.”

Also, by not having to drive to school or work has helped people reduce stress levels according to some.

According to Pantoja, it is important for people to keep a steady schedule and remind themselves that this is just temporary.

“Find something you like to do whether that is exercising, drawing, reading, anything that makes you happy make that give you a purpose,” Pantoja said. “We are not guaranteed that we won’t suffer in our lifetime, we just have to find ways to get through it."

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