Tired? Restless? Zoom fatigue may be the culprit

CSRA News

Are you feeling tired? Restless at night? There’s a new study from Stanford that may have a name for your mental distress…Zoom Fatigue.

Riverside Elementary teacher Jennifer Allen says “The unique role that I’ve had this year with teaching online only has been an extra challenge.”

Jennifer Allen is among many educators where virtual connection like Zoom has become the new norm. A new study from Stanford Researchers suggests that virtual burn out may be what’s causing Zoom Fatigue.

According to Dr. Michael Rollock, Psychologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, he says “We know that during this pandemic, zoom and other platforms have been incredibly helpful for families that can be pretty taxing on the mind and on the body.”

A feature of Zoom includes direct eye contact which over an extended period of time can cause your brain to be hyper aroused state. Dr. Michael Rollock, says causes a hyper aroused state of the brain.

“Your brain has a really hard time decoding people and so many faces all at once so that can cause a bit of overload.”

An overload that can cause health issues like trouble remembering short tasks or mind fog and a topic many are familiar with…a lack of sleep at night.

Rollock also suggests that “what we see if the issue with artificial light, blue light that emits from these screen displays is not what our brain has evolved to adapt to so it actually functions to suppress a hormone called melatonin…which affects your sleep.”

For many people, and educators especially, using platforms like Zoom is their current reality. Teacher Jennifer Allen says she’s always thinking of new ways to keeping her kids engaged on a day to day.

She says “Although it was challenging for the beginning of the year, i try to use a lot of platforms for them to engage with…first thing i think of is laughter and find ways that they feel connected together.”

Allen says for teachers it’s important to take breaks when you can and to remember to get outside in between classes.

She says to “explore things that you love to do and give you enjoyment.”

In Columbia County, Taylor Leverett, WJBF News Channel 6.

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