COVID-induced insomnia

Stress, lack of routine cause changes in sleep patterns


Digital cartoon by Kylee McLaughlin depicts the causes of sleep loss during the quarantine.

More leisure time, less active time, and no structure have combined to formulate the perfect conditions for sleeping all day and pulling all-nighters. According to a recent Instagram poll, the pandemic has brought a new rhythm to over 200 people’s sleep cycles and caused them to sleep significantly later than before the quarantine.

“Quarantine has had me sleeping past 1:00 p.m., so most of my day has felt wasted by the time I wake up,” said senior Monika Blakely. “Recently I’ve been going to sleep at 3:00 a.m. and waking up around 2:00 p.m.”

For some, social media is their only window to the outside world, and it is has caused many to stay up late on their devices.

“Staying on my phone scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, or talking to my friends on Facetime has mainly kept me up throughout the night,” said Monika.

When people have no structure in their day, they tend to fill the time with random activities, and eventually, the day time starts to mix into the night time.

“I have a lot more free time during quarantine, so I play more video games,” said senior Nickolas Cunningham. “I sometimes lose track of time, and stay up later than usual.” 

Even just sleeping late one time can lead to interference in a person’s sleep schedule. 

“When you get used to staying up late, you tend to wake up later in the morning, and the cycle continues,” said physical education teacher Jennifer Ramey.

While it is easy to fall into an irregular sleep schedule, it can be corrected if people establish a routine and stick to it.

“For some individuals sleep patterns could stick around for quite some time, but just like after the summer break we do adjust to the schedule and make the changes needed,” said Ramey. “When that does happen, we will need to avoid naps and get to bed at a much more reasonable time to be able to put our best foot forward for the next day.”

When people are stuck at home they also tend to spend more time in bed. Quality of sleep can be significantly improved if people leave their room during the day, and only lay in bed when they sleep at night.

“We need to spend less time in our bedrooms unless we are ready to go to sleep for the night,” said Ramey. “Being in your bed all day can certainly interfere with your internal clock, and you may end up taking naps when you really weren’t planning on falling asleep.”  

Freshman Micheal Rivera says that COVID and its quarantine has caused his sleep cycle to change dramatically since he wakes up at 8 p.m. and falls asleep at 2 p.m. He does not have a day routine because he sleeps during the day.

Amidst the chaos of the current pandemic, it is important for people to prioritize sleep and focus on their health and well-being. 

“Get out and get fresh air, exercise, be productive, stay off electronics before bed, and find some inner peace,” said Ramey.