Nap Period: Beneficial to Pioneer Students?


Arielle Sutherland

Pioneer junior, Miya Restorick, attempting to sleep in her U.S. Government class.

According to an online poll, 79% of Pioneer Students don’t get eight hours or more of sleep every night. This has caused many to become more stressed, and limit their abilities to excel in school, and at their extra-curricular activities. Often, students joke, saying “It would be nice if we had nap time during the school day.” Which has prompted the question: “How beneficial would a nap period during school be?”

      When Pioneer counselor, Christopher Kasper, surveyed a large sample of Pioneer students, he was shocked to find that a staggering number only got five to six hours of sleep every night. In an interview, Kasper also expressed his concerns about the strong correlation between mental health and lack of sleep. “Lack of sleep has many adverse effects on the human body, it can lead to students feeling more anxious, depressed, angry, or upset.” Kasper explained, and further examined the issue “When tired, it is easier to forget things, and it becomes difficult to maintain relationships.”

    Some advice Kasper would give to students who are unable to get a sufficient amount of sleep is to take a look at the classes they’re taking and evaluate if it’s something they’re really passionate about, especially if they are taking AC or AP classes. “The hour before going to bed is also crucial to getting a good night’s sleep, it’s important to get into a rhythm, and ensure that your sleep environment is adequate.”, Kasper added.

    To assist students who may not get enough sleep, Pioneer offers a second through seventh hour schedule, and while a number of students choose to take this route, not all students can due to sports practices, chores, and employment. The Pioneer clinic is also open to students, but when comparing the percentage of Pioneer students who don’t get enough sleep every night, to the size of the clinic, it is not large enough to accommodate 1,563 students. Missing class to go to the clinic to rest is a large concern for students because it can lead to missed schoolwork, and cause more stress, which can negatively affect a person’s sleep schedule.

    When asked about whether or not a nap period would be beneficial to Pioneer students, Kasper enthusiastically replied, “Yes, it would. I personally think it’s a great idea, as countries across Europe, especially in Spain, have a ‘Siesta’ in the early afternoon where all businesses close for a couple hours.”, he then expressed when would be most beneficial, “After lunch, in the early afternoon, for about 15 minutes would be most favorable.”

    Lack of sleep can also cause many sickness related issues. Pioneer school nurse, Lauren Hussein, described how the immune system is affected by lack of sleep, “ During sleep, cells have time to repair, and rejuvenate. Lack of sleep lowers the immune system’s threshold, which can lead to getting sick easily.

    Hussein advises students who can’t get eight or more hours of sleep every night to organize as much as possible, and “Put the phone down.” Furthermore, she stated that drinking enough water, and eating balanced meals that include fruits and vegetables, are vital to staying healthy when unable to get enough sleep. When asked if coffee was an effective method for dealing with lack of sleep, Hussein pointed out that, “Coffee is a quick fix, and it’s not really a healthy solution. It can lead to more issues such as caffeine headaches.”

    Pioneer students have also emphasized the need for a nap hour. Junior Riya Katial, explained, “With a nap time in place, students would be able to have more time for homework and a nap could give them an extra boost during the day.” Katial also expressed that students would be more awake and less distracted in class and during tests. Pioneer junior, Hannah Bondy, also pointed out that “Students are constantly exhausted, and that obviously leads to worse performance in school, as well as many mental health problems.”

    Katial’s and Bondy’s reasoning rings true with a large number of Pioneer students, and a 15 minute sleep period for students at the beginning of fourth hour would be ideal. It would allow students to rest, and if phones were not allowed to be used during this allotted time, it would greatly contribute to the welfare of Pioneer students, as well as staff.