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E-learning and sleep

The past few weeks have been very stressful and tense for a number of reasons, and one undisputed catalyst to all the hysteria is the rise of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan. Due to this, the government has not only asked all high schools to close until May but  Prime Minister Abe has also just recently declared a state of emergency on the 7th of April and asked all citizens to do their best to stay at home. In order to adapt to this drastic change the Sacred Heart administration took necessary precautions to move all classes online.

As the situation continues to worsen, the e-learning period has since been extended to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and families. As everyone is trying their best just to survive in times like these, it’s very common to forget the importance of maintaining wellness. The most prevalent need I have noticed students struggling with is sleep or a lack thereof due to constantly staring at our screens, trying to keep up with an altered schedule. 

In fact, the Sleep Foundation states that teenagers need about eight hours of sleep a day to function optimally but with the increased levels of artificial blue light emitted from our devices that suppresses our bodies sleep-inducing hormone (melatonin) this may not always be possible. Now that our schooling has become entirely electronic, our bodies internal clock may find it hard to function ‘normally’ due to these uncontrollable disruptions which can lead to students finding it hard to fall asleep at night. However, the switch to e-learning may not be the only reason for such disrupted sleep. According to, teenagers naturally have trouble sleeping earlier due to a shift in their brain chemistry that naturally allows them to work on later schedules. Another reason may be due to elevated levels of stress due to the sudden postponement or cancellation of annual events like Family Festival, Prom, musical concerts, and sports games, all of which are essential to the overall Sacred Heart experience.

With the way things are going, it seems like our situation will get worse before it gets better, and it looks like the only things we can rely on is family, an internet connection, and charged devices. However, not all hope is lost yet, we do still have a sliver of something that resembles balance and order. Which would be online classes that follow our regular school schedule and allow us to stay somewhat productive. Although it does not sound like much, these classes can also be beneficial in filling the immense amount of free time we now have. This added structure to our endless days can help ease the hardships we’re currently challenged with and hopefully also work as a sort of distraction from all the chaos going on in the world at the moment. 

It’s important to remember we are all going through this together and trying to do our best out of what we have. So although it may be hard to stay positive and look to the future in such dark times, I’d like to end this article with a simple proverb to remember whenever you’re feeling a little hopeless: “This too shall pass”.

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