Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why can't we have beds everywhere?

Dear Gretchen,

I was so tired this morning in class that I thought to myself, why can't we just have beds all over school so we can take naps whenever we want?

I know, it's genius!

-So Tired

Dear Tired,

Before I grab a bed catalogue to order a bunch of beds to decorate your school with, let me just ask you a few questions. What time do you go to bed, really truly? I know your official bed time is 10:30 pm, but I know you stay up a little, or maybe even a lot later than that. Let's say you stay up a little past that time and end up actually going to sleep around 11:30 pm. Breakfast is at 7 am and your first class is at 7:30. That means that you only got 7.5 hour of sleep last night, and that was on a good night. Not only did you get the 9.25 hours of sleep that you actually need (thanks Sleep Foundation), but you also messed yourself up for your test in the morning because your lack of sleep inhibits memorization and learning. I know, crazy, right?! For a fun, sleepy read, watch this PBS Frontline doc or read the overview. They tested a bunch of teenagers to look at learning and memorization and said:
What these tests show is that the brain consolidates and practices what is learned during the day after the students (or adults, for that matter) go to sleep.

In my freshman psych class, I remember my professor saying that if I really wanted to learn something or had a big test, then to study it right before I went to sleep and when I woke up in the morning and it would "stick" to my brain better.

Maybe none of this even answers your original question about the beds scattered around the school, but I'm not even going to go into every parent and teacher's nightmare of teenage temptation. Let's just knock the actual problem down before instilling a school-wide nap time (which, I think us teachers would benefit from as well.)

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