Waking up to the need for napping

Ryan Lam , Contributing Writer

In recent years, lack of sleep has become a norm across high schools in the nation. Students drift in and out of sleep during class, affecting their ability to learn and retain information.

While napping in class often has consequences, some schools are taking a step toward embracing sleeping during school. Meizen High School in Japan gained international notice for encouraging their students to take afternoon naps. As a result, teachers saw a dramatic increase in test scores, prompting other countries to acknowledge that napping is a viable solution for tired students.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 30 percent of high school students sleep the recommended eight to ten hours per day. This leaves the other 70 percent of students prone to accidents, diseases and memory problems.

Scientific studies from Harvard show that napping for 20 to 30 minutes can boost energy and improve one’s performance and alertness. Napping for this amount of time provides many benefits, without the side effects of grogginess and laziness afterwards.

Allocating a half hour everyday for napping will not solve the major issue of sleep deprivation, but it can increase students’ moods and attention levels during class. Schools frown upon sleeping during learning hours because they believe class time is wasted and sleeping should be done at home. However, cutting each class period by a couple minutes can open up a time for napping without taking away too much instructional  time. Even so, this time is worth  the improved mentality students gain after sleeping.

Napping at school should be an option for students who are too tired to focus or concentrate. Nonetheless, there should be limitations on how much time students are able to sleep. If students choose not to nap, they can finish up other school work or get ahead in class.

Many schools have proven that sleeping in the middle of the day helps students learn more and function better. While some may oppose this untraditional practice, implementing the sleep routine into schools results in students having two important factors in a student’s life: a healthy mind and a healthy body.