On the UC Berkeley News Center page there is an interesting article concerning sleep and napping during the day. Apparently studies have shown that taking a nap during the day helps to clear out the short-term memory in our brains so that we can begin to fill it again and be more productive. In their study, two groups were tested on their ability to learn, half with a nap and half without. Their subjects took a 90 minute nap around 2 p.m. and were much more capable at 6 p.m. than those without a nap.
I do believe naps would be beneficial in schools. Not just in the early grades but also in High School. I’ve been saying for years that the school day isn’t long enough. Our kids are packing more and more learning into this small amount of time. If a 60 minute nap would be helpful, why not extend the day by a few hours and let them sleep one of them away? Even an extra hour of class, especially after a good nap, could make a real difference in the education of our children.
I think the most important thing on my mind is the length of the nap. I mean, if I convinced my employer that I’d be more productive after a 90 minute nap and he agreed to let me have one each day, I’d actually be adding 90 minutes to my work day or I’d lose 90 minutes of pay each day. How many employers are going to pay for me to take a nap? Most really don’t want to pay for a lunch hour! I do however want to run out and buy one of those blue and red kindergarten mats to fold up behind the door in my office, just in case I feel the need to do a brain dump.