Sleep Schedules for a Zoom Semester

By Courtesy of Google Images

There are some undeniable benefits to online learning, such as not needing to change out of your pajamas for class or being able to wake up five minutes before class and still look presentable (or just have the camera off and no one will know if you still have the blanket wrapped around you like a burrito); however, for a perpetually sleep deprived college student, one has to wonder how beneficial Zoom classes are for one’s sleep schedule. Clearly everyone’s coping differently with this online semester, so here’s a field guide to all the different sleep schedules of Harvard students during a Zoom semester.

The nonexistent nine-hour sleep

This person is adjusting well to college and the demanding workload. They do not procrastinate on their work and go to bed at the same time every night. While you are toiling away at psets at 2:00 a.m., they are already sound asleep in bed, probably dreaming about taking over the world or congratulating themselves on the good sleep schedule. Let’s be real, though, this is Harvard. This sleep schedule is either nonexistent or will vanish as soon as midterms start.

The actually existent but regretful nine-hour sleep

They procrastinate their homework until 10:30 p.m., but their brain stops working at 11:00 p.m. The solution? Go to bed early and then wake up early to do homework. The reality? They keep hitting snooze on their phone and then wake up half an hour before their first class of the day, feeling full of regret.

All-nighter squad

They live off coffee and Red Bull and look perpetually sleep-deprived (which they are). All-nighters are smart with planning and management, as they finesse their schedule to find the optimal schedule to pull an all-nighter. Cons: the sleep-deprivation and stress and pain and the coffee bills. Pros: they’re done with homework in one sitting; they’ll be the dependable friend who people come to for advice and all the hottest tea in the middle of the night.

Sleeping during lecture with camera off

After pulling an all-nighter, your 9:00 a.m. Gen Ed lecture doesn’t sound exciting at all; however, because of Zoom, professors can now keep attendance of whoever shows up to class. The solution? Join the Zoom, and then turn off your video to sleep. As long as you set an alarm to wake up at the end of class to leave the Zoom, your attendance record will still be as perfect as ever. This is the sleep schedule for students who still care enough to get that 15 percent of attendance, even if they no longer have the energy for the class.

Skipping Zoom classes altogether to sleep

This is the sleep schedule for students who no longer care for their attendance. Sleep is all that matters now. It is a vicious cycle of spending all your waking hours on psets and essays and then sleeping during the actual classes. Disclaimer: This is only a good schedule for lecture classes, not small sections or discussion seminars. Pros: they actually get to sleep. Cons: the professor’s surprise in seeing them actually show up to class one day.

What is sleep?

The most ambitious crossover since Infinity Wars: procrastination meets a good student. They stay up all night to finish psets and essays and will attend every lecture (not even for the grades but genuinely for the knowledge). Sleep comes to them in the form of naps during the 15-minute interval in between classes. They are actually getting something out of their education. Bravo. However, one can’t help but ask the questions: “At what cost?” and “Will they survive?”

We’ve finished one Zoom-ester already, but don’t worry if you still haven’t found the perfect sleep schedule for Zoom yet. As people say, college is where you try new things. Although we do not 100 percent recommend this, feel free to try out all of these methods to find which one works best for you. Maybe you’ll learn that sleep is for the weak and that naps (and coffee and Red Bull) are enough to sustain your body or that you really just don’t care for that perfect attendance anymore. (It is but a relic of your glorious high school past. You’re at Harvard now!)

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