*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
A new study that investigated the sleep habits of 139 Colorado college students before and after pandemic lockdowns began, found a surprising upside: better sleep.
“In the end, a higher percentage of students were obtaining the recommended amount of sleep necessary for health and cognitive function and learning and performance,” said lead author Ken Wright, director of the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The study started in January as a way to give students in his sleep physiology class insight into their own slumber habits. After Colorado put a stay-at-home order into effect March 26, Wright realized it offered a chance to study how suddenly changing schedules might affect a good night’s sleep.
Students first reported on their sleep habits in late January and early February, then again after stay-at-home orders began. By then, students were taking courses remotely, some from different time zones.
On average, students were sleeping about 30 minutes more each weeknight and 24 minutes on weekend nights than before the stay-at-home order went into effect, the study found.
That meant 92% were getting the seven hours of shut-eye recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And students who had slept the least before the stay-at-home order improved the most — logging as much as two more hours of sleep each night, the study found.
The findings were published in the journal Current Biology.