Life in lockdown leads to extended lie-ins

Zzz… Hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock can make you feel drowsier during the day. © Getty

Should we get up later? Over 50% of children are waking up later while in lockdown. These changes to our sleep could improve our mood, but might make returning to normal life difficult.

What’s happening

The morning rush has disappeared. There are no alarm clocks, no hurried showers, no toast on the go. Commuting is no longer necessary for most people. Time usually spent travelling to work or school is now spent relaxing. For some, this means a long breakfast. For many, it means more time in bed.

Find out more

Covid-19 is having a huge impact on sleep. As schools remain closed, there is no longer a need for most children to wake up early. A recent sleep study has shown that more than half of those under-16 are enjoying longer lie-ins.

Adults are also sleeping more. Many households have stopped using alarm clocks, and over 60% of people say they are sleeping better than before the lockdown.

Better quality sleep may improve mood and brain function, but experts say these new habits aren’t as good as they seem. A growing number of people are having more vivid dreams, a result of deep sleep being interrupted. The study also found that bedtimes are creeping later for more than 70% of children, while two in 10 are sleeping less.

Should we get up later?

Some say…

Definitely. Sleeping longer could make us better at learning and forming lasting memories. We can be more productive when we have slept for longer. Research tells us that snoozing an alarm over and over again can make us even more tired. We should use the lockdown as an opportunity to change our habits for good and start our working days later.

Others think…

Probably not. The recent changes to our routines mean it will be even harder for people to get up for school or work when life returns to normal. Waking up late can make us more energetic at night. If we are not tired enough when we go to bed, we sleep less deeply. As a result, longer lie-ins often mean we feel groggy and tired during the day.

You Decide

  1. Should school begin an hour later?

Activities

  1. Some people think dreams represent the creative side of our brains. Keep a dream journal for a week by writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Then write a story based on one of them.

Some People Say...

“Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other twenty-two in dreams.”

Salvador Dali (1904-1989), Spanish artist

What do you think?

Word Watch

Commuting
Travelling between home and work or school on a regular basis.
Brain function
Sleep strengthens the connections between brain cells, which could help us learn quicker.
Deep sleep
Also known as REM (rapid eye movement). Deep sleep is when dreams happen.
Snoozing
A snooze button stops the alarm on a clock for a few minutes to allow for a little more rest.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.