Preschools and kindergartens often offer nap time for their very young children, who may need to rest to avoid getting cranky. Research does show that younger children need to sleep more than older people. But what about teenagers? Reportedly, they do get cranky too.
Studies are beginning to show that teenagers with chronic sleep shortage and stress problems are becoming all too common. At their age, they need around nine to ten hours of sleep at night, but nearly 70% are not getting it.
“Napping pods” are a fun, yet slightly strange, potential solution to this problem. These egg-shaped reclining lounge chairs with a circular lid that blocks out the light have popped up in several public schools in New Mexico, including Las Cruces High School.
18-year-old Hannah Vanderkooy is one student at the school who uses the devices. According to NPR, she only gets about four to five hours of sleep a night. “It just sort of envelops you in a really nice darkness, with soft lighting behind you,” she explained. Apparently, the pods even play quiet music to help relax you.
“Being a senior, I have to apply for scholarships, do all my homework,” Hannah said, adding that she is currently enrolled in three advanced placement courses. “So my sleep cycle has just sort of become this night-owl life, and it’s just kind of the new normal.”
While naps should not be used as an alternative to a proper sleep schedule, they can help a student who is falling asleep in class, and they can even reduce anger and stress. “They all felt more rested, happier and more in control of their emotions,” says family nurse practitioner Linda Summers, who writes prescriptions for the nap pod for students, “after just 20 minutes.”