Naptime is a necessary tool for student success

By: Crystal Earl

IMG_1303Naptime is one of the many great memories we have from preschool. Those were the days that were stress free, when we didn’t have to worry about finishing assignments or getting enough sleep throughout the week. Now, however, we find ourselves slugging through our textbooks late at night, strategizing about which classes to fall asleep in so we don’t miss too much information the next day, and power napping through nutrition.

High schoolers, who clearly desperately need sleep, deserve the opportunity to nap at school.

As children, naptime offered the opportunity to settle down and curl up on the rug in class for some nice, energizing shut-eye. The benefits of napping haven’t changed or diminished as we’ve gotten older, however. According to Today’s Parent magazine, children ages four to five need around ten to twelve hours of sleep every day, and naptime implements almost two hours of that time. High schoolers only need around seven to nine hours of sleep each night to remain healthy, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show that 73 percent of high school students aren’t getting enough sleep.

With most teenagers getting less than five hours of sleep at night, the solution seems almost too clear: implement naptime into the school day.

But this can present a logistical problem for teachers and administrators. Allowing naptime in school may seem like a waste of valuable time, and would even been too hard to fit into schedules of thousands of students. There would also be the issue of taking necessary precautions to ensure that immature high school students would not abuse this opportunity, but actually nap.

Getting enough sleep is important because it allows us to stay at a healthy weight, lowers our risk for serious health problems, reduces stress and improves our mood, allowing us to think more clearly and do better in school, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Instead of taking away from the learning experience, it would only enhance it.

When schools across the world finally realize that naptime is just as necessary for high schoolers as it is for preschoolers, they could do it in a number of different ways. Google recently developed the nap pod, a machine that allows employees to recharge in a short period of time by providing ideal conditions for napping. Because of its clear benefits, businesses, colleges, and high schools across the nation have begun implementing the nap pod or similar napping spaces in their own workplaces and campuses.

Short naps significantly improve energy and do not interfere with night-time sleep. The “NASA nap,” as it is referred to, is 26 minutes long and has been proven by the National Transportation Safety Board to enhance alertness by 54 percent. Naps improve mental clarity and motor skills which are two key elements involved throughout the school day.

If administration were to implement 30 minute naps for students on campus or nap pods , performance in the classroom would increase. Naptime would also relieve stress, which is something all high school students experience.

Naptime would benefit students across the nation, and besides, they seem much more beneficial for sleep-deprived teenagers than they do for 4-year-olds with nothing but time on their hands.

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