Why Did We Ever Stop Napping?

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by Kitty Batie

Most people above the age of seven do not take naps during the work or school day. At most workplaces and schools it is taboo to be sleeping on the job, even going as far as being fired for sleeping on the clock.

Naps were normalized and even enforced in schools and some homes for children. Pre-Kindergarten through first grade even have a designated time for children to rest and relax. 

The question is: if naps were socialized back then, why aren’t they now?  

According to experts from the Sleep Foundation, a company built around helping people get better sleep, naps may be more beneficial than you think. They cite studies that show that napping can improve cognitive function, logical reasoning, physical performance, and more. 

Some students find it hard to make time to get the sleep they need — even though they know they need it.

“I feel like I should, but I feel I have other priorities in life. I’m always so busy,” said Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) senior Caileigh Winslade. 

ChiArts senior Meleena Monarrez said that she doesn’t have time in her work schedule to sleep. 

“I could definitely stand to sleep, I understand that especially at this age I should be getting as much sleep as possible, and I’m trying to incorporate better sleeping habits. But I find that with scheduling issues I can’t find the time,” said Monarrez.

ChiArts’ vice principal, Dr. Tiffanie McCleary, said that she gets seven hours a night of sleep per night, but that she finds it impossible to nap.

“I believe in sleep,” said Dr. McCleary. “I wanna be as youthful as long as possible.”

Not everyone can get seven hours of sleep per night, and for some, that might not be enough.

Even teachers shared that they felt naps were important. ChiArts Diverse Learners teacher Katie Eppinger said that she needed the extra sleep in college. 

“When I was younger, not teaching but when I was in college, I would take naps between classes. I personally felt like I need naps in order to like focus and study,” said Eppinger.

A simple change might increase productivity and health. Schools and workplaces should create more wiggle room. They should give more time to rest during the work day.

There is no time in the workplace for rest, and this rest is as beneficial to adults as it is to six-year-olds. 

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