In Preschool, nap time is despised and children rebel by pretending to sleep. By the time high school comes around, students are craving the ability to take a nap. Numerous studies show high school students are not receiving enough sleep, but administration is at a loss of how to handle the deprived kids.  

Starting the 2018-19 school year, Hillsborough schools starting times were adjusted in attempt to resolve sleep loss in hard working students. 

“Under the plan elementary school will run from 7:40 a.m. to 1:55 p.m., high school from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. and middle school from 9:25 a.m. to 4:20 p.m,” said Tampa Bay Times writer Marlene Sokol.  

Schools clearly have trouble deciding how to best change starting times to provide enough sleep for students while spacing out the different schools’ times enough to restrict an overflow of traffic. The solution may be much simpler however: nap time.  

The purpose of nap time in preschool was to provide extra rest for the small kids who were used to sleeping multiple times throughout the day. In high school, kids are expected to work nonstop for about seven hours, complete an average of two hours of homework a night (closer to four hours for honors students), and get enough sleep to do it all again the next day. Athletes have it even worse as they are given no leniency for completing the same level of homework after their long practices’ multiple times a week.  

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended that children aged 6–12 years should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours and teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours,” said the center for disease control (CDC).  

In the allotted time, there is no possible way a high schooler may complete all their homework, play a sport, and retain a social appearance all while getting enough sleep. Because of this, students often find themselves struggling to stay awake during their first few classes which can negatively affect their work. When the kids return home, they are too tired to recall the information from class and work on hours of homework.  

While some students have jokingly mentioned the desire for nap time in high school, the idea was never taken seriously until Kathleen Walsh held an experiment in her classroom.  

Walsh is a psychology teacher at Steinbrenner who encouraged her class one period to listen to a 20-minute relaxing meditation video and then sleep for the remaining time. The activity was to demonstrate certain sleep cycles they learned about in their states of consciousness unit.  

“The kids knew about the activity about a week before we did it and they were all super excited. When I looked around the room, I was shocked that everyone had their head down and seemed to be in a light sleep. One student even started snoring,” said Walsh.   

The experiment Walsh conducted took place only in her AP psychology classes which are held during first and second period. Students reported feeling more energetic in their following classes and some even said they felt their work was better than usual. 

“I felt more motivated in my classes and did my work way faster than usual. I never even had to touch my backpack at home since I finished all of my homework after my normal classwork,” said Sophomore Alexa Gilland.  

This experiment may not have been conducted in the most scientific environment, but the results were inspiring. High school could become less stressful if nap time was incorporated into the daily schedule.  

Liv Pages // Opinion Editor 

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