School & District Management What the Research Says

Naps May Boost Learning for Sleep-Deprived Teenagers

By Sarah D. Sparks — August 20, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For chronically sleep-deprived adolescents—which, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is most of them—afternoon naps could help bolster memory and learning, according to a study in the journal Nature.

Researchers from the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School randomly assigned 58 adolescents into two groups. One group got 6½ hours of sleep a night for two weeks, to simulate a typical school week for a sleep-deprived student. The other got five hours of sleep each night, plus a 1½ hour nap each day at 2 p.m. At the end of the first school week, both groups studied a set of pictures, on which they were tested the following Monday, after sleeping normally over the weekend. During the second week, the students learned about different species of amphibians in the mornings and afternoons.

Students who got an afternoon nap were better than those who got more nightly sleep in remembering both the first week’s pictures and the facts learned in the afternoons of the second week. (Both groups equally remembered the morning lessons.) Students with the split-sleep schedules also reported being more focused, alert, and motivated in the afternoons.

Naps have long been shown to benefit younger students, but these findings add to evidence that they can boost memory for older students, too.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2019 edition of Education Week as Naps May Boost Learning for Sleep-Deprived Teenagers

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Will Schools Reopen Quickly After Hurricane Ian Passes? It Depends
Even before district leaders started shelter operations, they were getting asked when kids could return.
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Tampa Bay Times
3 min read
Beulah Stand, a sixth grade math teacher at John Hopkins, carries her pillow and a suitcase into the Pinellas County special needs shelter at John Hopkins Middle School, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Fla., as Florida's west coast prepares for Hurricane Ian. Stand will be staying at the center to work during the storm. The evacuation center, which is only for people with special needs, has a capacity of over 700 people.
Beulah Stand, a 6th grade math teacher at John Hopkins, carries her pillow and a suitcase into the Pinellas County special needs shelter at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg, Fla., as Florida's west coast prepares for Hurricane Ian. Stand will be staying at the center to work during the storm. The evacuation center, which is only for people with special needs, has a capacity of over 700 people.
Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via AP
School & District Management How District Leaders Can Make Sure Teachers Don't Miss the Loan-Forgiveness Deadline
Many teachers and other public employees may not know they qualify for a student loan-forgiveness waiver that has an Oct. 31 deadline.
4 min read
Young adult woman cutting the ball and chain labeled "Debt" which is attached as the tassel hanging from a graduate's mortarboard
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Download A Visual Guide to Nonverbal Communication (Download)
Understanding nonverbal communication can help you improve interactions and get your message across.
1 min read
v42 8SR Nonverbal Communication Share Image
Gina Tomko/Education Week and Getty
School & District Management Ensure Your Staff Gets the Message: 3 Tips for School Leaders
School staff are inundated with information. Here's a few ways to ensure they will actually hear you.
3 min read
Image showing a female and male in business attire connecting speech bubble puzzle pieces.
iStock/Getty Images Plus