School Closures Improved Sleep Quality For Adolescents, Study Finds

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Health News – Though the school closure in the spring of 2020 had adversely impacted the health and well-being of many young people, a study found that homeschooling has led to better sleep followed by improved health and health-related quality of life for adolescents.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Zurich conducted an online survey among 3664 high school students during the COVID-19 lockdown and asked the participants about their sleep patterns and quality of life. The survey result was compared with another survey from 2017 with 5308 young participants.

According to the study findings, the adolescents woke up around 90 minutes later during the three months in which their schools were closed. But they went to sleep only 15 minutes later on average. The result implies that their overall sleep increased by about 75 minutes/day. The researchers also observed a little difference in the sleep times of the two groups during the weekends.

In the survey, the participants from the lockdown group rated their health-related quality of life higher. They also reported their amount of alcohol and caffeine consumption which was less than the pre-pandemic group. All these findings suggested that the new norm of homeschooling had a positive effect on the health and overall well-being of many teenagers as they no longer had to travel to school and had enough time to have a sound sleep every day.

“Our findings clearly indicate the benefit of starting school later in the morning so that youngsters can get more sleep,” said Oskar Jenni, co-leader of the study. He later mentioned that the beneficial effects of homeschooling on health and health-related quality of life would have been even greater if there were no negative effects of the pandemic on people’s mental health.

To Know More You Refer To:

Albrecht, J. N., Werner, H., Rieger, N., Widmer, N., Janisch, D., Huber, R., & Jenni, O. G. (2022). Association Between Homeschooling and Adolescent Sleep Duration and Health During COVID-19 Pandemic High School Closures. JAMA network open, 5(1), e2142100.

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