Students Are So Tired And Stressed, Some Schools Bought Napping Pods For $14,000 Each

If my high school had a napping team, I would have been a champion. In second period Geography, I was in my groove. I even managed to nap through picture day one year. And I honestly think I had it easy compared to today's classes of college hopefuls. I didn't have to worry as much about colleges looking at my extracurriculars, and I definitely didn't have as many distractions vying for my attention. I can only imagine how badly students today must want to just crawl into bed when the bell finally rings.

It's no surprise that students today are stressed out and not sleeping enough.

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Between competing to get into good colleges, holding down a job to pay for it, and any extracurriculars to pad those applications, teens commonly get dangerously little sleep.

In New Mexico, some schools are trying napping pods.

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Built like recliners with egg-like isolation hoods, students can retreat to the napping pods for 20 minutes of refreshing peace and quiet, and they're a hit.

Although naps can never replace a full night of sleep, napping has been shown to have surprising benefits, including boosting memory and attention.

But it's not just overtired, overworked students who are finding the napping pods helpful.

The school has found the pods useful for upset students, too. Linda Summers, a nurse practitioner who works with the school, says that the pods are "good for anger and stress."

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Agitated or angry students calmed down significantly after 20 minutes in the pods. "They all felt more rested, happier and more in control of their emotions," she said.

Napping pods are wonderful inventions. I'm sure they'd be popular in just about any workplace. 

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But they aren't cheap. Las Cruces shelled out $14,000 each for their napping pods, made possible by a federal health grant.

Not to say that helping teens get the rest they need isn't worth it, but that's a lot of money that could be directed to all kinds of other programs.

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Many states cut school funding after the Great Recession and haven't raised it since then. Per student funding was lower in 2014 than it was in 2008 in 31 states. Many states are still cutting from school budgets, too.

Stress can actually be useful. It's motivational. It gets you off the XBox and into study-mode. But there's definitely too much of a good thing going around.

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The consequences are well documented: anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, weight gain, and, of course, sleep problems.

There's no magic potion that will prevent stress altogether. 

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Kids want a bright future, and their parents want them to have a bright future, and that's going to create pressure.

Let's face it, stress is a part of daily life as an adult. There are constant pressures from things like deadlines, regulations, demanding clients, and good old fashioned responsibilities. 

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Ugh, isn't responsibility the worst? What a buzz kill. So yeah, teenagers are getting a good glimpse of adulthood.

Keeping the communication lines open is a great start.

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Kids who feel like they can talk about things at home deal with stress better and learn to advocate for themselves at school.

There are many other healthy coping strategies as well, and they can tie in to those extracurriculars that look great on college applications.

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Even playing rec league sports shows colleges that you're capable of handling stress. Cleaning up a hiking trail gets you fresh air and exercise at the same time as getting you some community service hours.

Meditate, listen to music, sing along, make the most of your free time, and at the end of the day, shut it all down and get some sleep.

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