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Catching Zs Before University

Do High Schoolers Need a Nap Time?
The+Beacon+Staff+being+sleepy.
Ren Nebet
The Beacon Staff being sleepy.

Picture this: You’re an upperclassman and your first period of the day starts at 7:14 a.m. sharp.

You had to wake up at 6 a.m., or even earlier, to get here on time. Half the seats are empty, and the other half are filled with students, either half or entirely asleep.

Despite that, it’s time to learn calculus.

“Some of us have these hard classes first thing in the morning,” Senior Ajay Singh stated. “A break or a nap time would be perfect.”

It’s notable to mention that most other New York City public high schools start around 8 a.m. or later. The hour difference doesn’t seem large at first, but when you’re getting to school before 7 a.m. to get to class on time, every minute makes a difference.

As a senior who usually gets to school before the sun rises, I’m sleepy. I often tell my friends to not expect proper words to come out of my mouth until at least third period, or around 10 a.m., when my brain finally catches up with my body.

I am not and have never been a morning person, and being forced to learn before the world is awake will not change that.

Could I be going to sleep earlier to fix this? Absolutely. In fact, on days where I do manage to go to sleep before 10 p.m., there is a noticeable difference in how my day goes. 

Between extracurriculars, homework, and wanting to have a social life (which is equally important as keeping up academics), going to sleep at a “reasonable” time is not always realistic. Many other teenagers would tell you the same thing.

Regarding the time students should be going to sleep, Mr. Ebanks, Assistant Principal of Guidance, shared, “I would say 9:30, or 10, the latest.”

So, if teenagers won’t start going to sleep early, even when they probably should, what other solutions are there?

In some idealist, far off, make-believe world, perhaps the solution to this issue would be nap times in high school.

It sounds like a joke at first, right?

But, even Mr. Wilbur, our beloved principal, agreed that a naptime, or even just some meditation and mindfulness time, would be beneficial to students.

Really think about it… if you could nap during the day, wouldn’t that be helpful, at least a little bit? A moment to recharge in between classes? An opportunity to catch up on much needed rest?

“Nap times should be anywhere from twenty minutes to thirty minutes,” informed Mr. Epp, one of Hills’ psychology teachers. “If they could fit it into their lunch period […] it could be helpful.”

What do I think about this all?

There are a few things to consider before answering this:

  1. I’m sleepy. Often.
  2. I fall victim to the after school nap. Often.
  3. I go to sleep later than I should. Often.
Credit: Adobe Stock Image

These issues could all be fixed with some more sleep, but realistically, I can’t get that sleep. I come home, (usually take a nap), eat to survive, do homework, go to sleep, wake up, go to school, and do it all over again.

So, would I want a nap time in school?

Absolutely. Any chance to refill my energy would be wonderful.

But, are nap times in school actually realistic?

When it came to a space in the building for a nap time to occur, Mr. Wilbur asked himself, “Where can I offer a place to chill?”

As well, there will always be conflicting viewpoints on whether naps in school are really necessary.

A large part of being in high school is learning responsibility, so we can go on to be functioning adults who don’t need to sleep in the middle of the day.

Mr. Ebanks feels passionately on the subject. “I truly think that students need to spend more time getting to know themselves, to set themselves up for long term success.”

But, really, as students, we could all use a little nap every now and then. We are all trying our best to be good for the future, and we all can get pretty worn out from that.

Reflecting back on a student’s perspective, Ajay expressed that, “People need to stop treating teenagers like work machines, because we’re not. So much pressure is put on us […] because this is the rest of our lives.”

In the end, it’s unlikely that the dream of having a break in the middle of the school day would come true.

Instead, we’ll have to take our naps after school, dreaming in the privacy of our own homes.

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About the Contributor
Ren Nebet
Ren Nebet, Head Copy Editor
Ren is a senior that joined The Beacon as a Copy Editor in 2022. They love reading and writing poetry in their spare time, and they have a strange obsession with grammar. They love that The Beacon gives them a outlet to share their writing with others. They are a member of this year’s We The People team, and they are also currently involved with this year’s Shakespeare productions of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing Portia and Egeus respectively.
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    SantanaMar 16, 2024 at 1:03 am

    My feelings as a high school senior stands so true! I would love to have a “nap time” in school too (haha). I often find myself staying up too late and being drowsy or having to overexert myself in the early periods of school. Like right now, for example, I am writing this comment at 1:00am as i’m simultaneously preparing for a midterm in just a few hours.

    Anywho, I enjoyed reading this entry!

    Reply