Wake up LHS: Bring Back Nap Time

I can’t count how many times during the school day I say to my friends, “I could really use a nap.” Attempting to exert my full effort in each class, I hardly have any time to take a breather. With tests to make up, or assessments to study for, homework to complete, in the hustle and bustle of the cafeteria, my lunch hardly feels like an actual break. This fatigue and weariness blankets many of my classes and I know my classmates are feeling similarly.

Now, if I were to explain this tiredness to an adult or a parent, they would probably respond with, “Get more sleep at night! Go to sleep earlier! Have a regular sleep schedule!” 

To which I respond: How? It’s just not possible. 

With the amount of homework I receive every day from school plus extracurriculars, there are simply not enough hours in a day (or night) to get sufficient sleep. Whether it be going to work after school or attending sports practices, many days I don’t get home until late at night. And, of course, every day, I am bombarded with school work. Trying to get everything done, in addition to allowing myself time to do the things I enjoy, often gets in the way of my sleep schedule. 

Senior Anthony McClendon also experiences a tumultuous sleep schedule having

Natalie Isberg

to balance wrestling, talking with friends, and school work. After practice, he doesn’t get home until 6 or 7, and is unable to get to his homework until very late.

“Sometimes I try to get… my homework done until two, three in the morning,” McClendon said. “Many times I pass out in my chair from trying to do my work so late.”

This is a very relatable experience — going through a busy day, having a late night, and consequently getting only a couple hours of sleep. The challenge is waking up to get ready for school after a late night. Even after initial sleepiness is shaken off after 9, general fatigue starts to set in for the rest of the day

Last year, when e-learning was in full swing, the block schedule and flexibility allowed for me to take a nap (or multiple naps) throughout the school day. The sudden 360 from being able to take breaks throughout the day to suddenly being slammed with a normal schedule again with very little time to breathe was difficult. 

There are many instances every day where I wish there was an opportunity for me to set my head down for a little while and rest — to nap purposefully.

LHS should create specialized times and areas where students can relax and reset. Whether that means a 10 to 30 minute nap or just some quiet time alone, it would be both beneficial and incredibly appreciated. 

“Naps are effective,” said Health and Wellness Coordinator Dr. Brenda Nelson. “Although they are not a total antidote to sleep loss, they can definitely help. Anything from a 10 to 30 minute nap is just a really, really good refresh and reset.”

It just so happens that a half-period at LHS is approximately 22 minutes, which lands perfectly in between the 10 to 30 minute range. So being able to take a half-period of lunch or any free period and utilizing the time to nap would be highly effective and helpful. 

The school should establish supervised locations for these types of breaks where we can nap, or just rest our eyes for a little while to refresh. Schools throughout the United States are utilizing “Energy Pods” that provide a quiet space for an individual, as well as creating phone-free and conversation-free rooms. On a small scale, Dr. Nelson has been allowing students to take half-period naps in the old Drop In Lab during their free periods. 

Eva: I used Dr. Nelson’s nap room for about 45 minutes during my fourth pe

riod lunch.  I was able to enjoy the peace and quiet during this time. As someone who is often sleep deprived but is bad at taking naps, I used the time to sit quietly and breathe through the stress of my week. Allowing myself a break from the school day cleared my head and helped me finish the day with a positive mindset.

Sarah: I took a nap in Dr. Nelson’s room for around 20 minutes during the second half of my lunch. The ambience was warm and cozy there, and I slept on a fluffy carpet with some pillows and blankets. After the nap, I not only felt relaxed, I also felt refreshed, energized, and I got the boost I needed to make it through the rest of my day. 

This should be implemented on a larger scale at LHS, and awareness about these opportunities should be expanded. Students will jump at the opportunity, and it could benefit us health wise, boosting our memorization and focus. It’s time to wake up to the harsh reality of teenage sleep deprivation, and bring back nap time.