High schoolers are notoriously sleep-deprived, and many are turning to naps — during and after school — to fill the gap.
In an informal high-school March 17 Octagon poll, 23 of the 30 respondents said that they napped during the day, with 13 saying that they also did so during school hours.
Senior Kenyatta Dumisani, a fully online student, makes use of naps mainly to supplement his sleep schedule and energize himself.
“It’s really just a matter of recharging myself,” Dumisani said, “so I can keep powering through work for the rest of the day and also my classes. It’s rejuvenating, you know.”
Dumisani, like most students who responded to the poll, takes naps whenever he can, usually about an hour in length.
“If it’s after an exam or at the end of the day, that will probably be half an hour to an hour, sometimes even an hour and a half,” Dumisani said. “Other times it’s about 10 to 15 minutes. That’d be during my free period, or sometimes during the snack break, that 15 minutes that we have. Because I’ll still be groggy.”
Dumisani attributed his naps to simple tiredness, since he gets four to six hours of sleep on average.
Junior Sicily Schroeder, a hybrid student, said her usual sleep time is also about four to six hours. Her naps are usually after school.
“I nap a couple times a week — mostly when I’m tired, when I’ve stayed up late the night before, like an hour, or 45 minutes,” Schroeder said.
Junior Malek Owaidat usually has a regular nap schedule, taking a nap every day from when he gets home from school to his soccer practice.
“Basically, I go home, I’m just super tired. So I go to sleep.” Owaidat said. “Then I wake up, and I’m all rejuvenated and everything. Then I do my soccer practice. I’m tired after soccer, but then I have to do my homework. I’m tired all the time.”
Owaidat blamed both his procrastination and workload for his sleep schedule.
“I think it wouldn’t be as much of an issue if teachers didn’t assign all this work,” he said. “They’ll give us two problem sets that are due on the same day that a test is due or when a homework assignment is due, which doesn’t make sense.”
Owaidat, after finishing his homework, usually goes to sleep at about 3 a.m, and averages about seven hours of sleep daily, including his naps.
Sophomore Sage Spradlin said, by contrast, that she does not think the workload is overbearing.
“I’d say that teachers, at least in the sophomore category, teachers are pretty good about not giving us an unbelievable amount of homework,” Spradlin said. “So my naps usually aren’t because I have too much homework or anything.”
Instead, Spradlin said she takes naps to augment her irregular sleeping habits.
“When I do school from home, I’ll sleep during my free period, and then through lunch because they’ll line up a lot of days,” she said. “My meds make me sleep weird, so I’ll stay up all night and then nap a lot during the day. I’ll get anywhere from two to 14 hours of sleep. Really irregular.”
Freshman Tanish Shenoy, similarly, was less affected by his workload or sleep deprivation than Owaidat or Dumisani and usually gets eight to 10 hours of sleep.
“I nap when I have a free period, when I just need a little bit of refreshment,” Shenoy said. “I’m usually up till 10 or 11 o’clock, sometimes midnight, partly due to my homework, also just my schedule.”
Occasionally, students have missed classes because of their naps. Schroeder once fell asleep during AP U.S. History while attending class from the gym. Spradlin has had similar experiences.
“Sometimes I’ll accidentally sleep through my alarm and miss a class,” Spradlin said.
For Dumisani, naps are just a way to make up for his workload and sleep.
“I just nap because I’m tired,” he said. “Sometimes you just want to close your eyes and not have to look at a screen for a while.”
— By Nihal Gulati
Originally published in the April 13 edition of the Octagon.