Why Students Need Nap-time: 2020 Edition

Students sleeping on lunch table

Freshman, Emilie Miner, sleeps on a lunch table in the cafeteria. She like many other students at Mason did not sleep well the night before. (photo by Bella Frick)

Bella Frick, Staff Reporter

Since 2018, the last time The Lasso tackled the issue of naps in school, George Mason has developed multiple methods for mental health in hopes to improve the general being of Mason students. Things like Mustang Rodeos, Stable Groups, and the Behind Happy Faces Curriculum are all efforts to help students with their mental health and the overall stability in their lives. While students may be getting some knowledge out of these events they do not get to the one thing they want and need the most: sleep.

The life of a high schooler can be chaotic and busy. So finding time to rest, let alone sleep the highly-recommended eight hours per night, is hard. In 2018, a poll administered by the Lasso showed that most Mason students only get around 4-8 hours. This simply isn’t enough to carry us through our full schedules – what Mason students need is naptime.

To Mason’s credit, students do get a 30-minute “break” in the morning called Mustang Block, but some students claim it’s not enough to get everything they need done. In addition, Mustang Block isn’t entirely dedicated to letting Mason students have a break. It also serves the purpose of giving them a chance to talk to teachers, turn in late work, and do extra credit projects. Things that take up time and do not allow a lot of rest.

“The half-hour of Mustang Block isn’t even enough time to get a significant amount of work done,” freshman Sasha Geisinger said. 

What students want is a time dedicated to sleeping. Students want naptime. In high school, having a fully charged brain is pivotal to learning, and to have a fully charged brain you need to have a good amount of sleep. So when teenagers are required to give 100% of their attention all day, a nap in the middle is a rational thing to consider. When students have to go from school to sports, to clubs, they need to have enough energy to put in their best effort.

Teenagers need sleep, as much as they need to learn. Sleeping is when their bodies and minds develop the most. Research shows that not getting enough sleep not only affects their attention span but also their mood and behavior. So students who aren’t getting the right amount of sleep are more likely to participate in dangerous activities like drugs, alcohol, unsafe driving, and other risky actions. Adults are so adamant about all those things being prevented yet their also the ones taking away one of the best aids to doing that. All it takes is an early afternoon nap of about 15-20 minutes to limit the risk of students engaging in dangerous behavior.

Even without giving students a scheduled naptime, that won’t stop them from dozing off in class or mindlessly staring at a wall trying to stay awake. The time they spend focused on just trying to keep their eyes open is time they could be using to focus on schoolwork. 

Adding naptime into Mason’s students’ schedule is beneficial for everyone. The students are healthy and awake, and the teachers, for the most part, have attentive learners.