Student Led Nap Account Shows Students’ Sleep Deprivation

A photo of Caroline Didden and Jakob Wade are featured on an early post of @hackleyschoolnaps taking a nap before French class.

Caroline Didden and Jacob Wade were closing their eyes for a few minutes before their French class when a fellow student took a picture and sent it to Hackley’s new “nap account,” @hackleyschoolnaps. After class, they opened Instagram and were surprised to see themselves on their feed, wondering who submitted the photo.

Caroline and Jacob are just two of the latest stars (or victims) of this new Instagram account that recently received a lot of attention from Upper School students starting at the beginning of December. It is an anonymously run account that posts photos of students taking naps at school, often submitted by another student with consent. Since December 3rd there have been 22 photos posted of students taking naps throughout the school day.

The majority of student-led accounts are designated for clubs or teams; however, humorous accounts that feature students like @hackleyschoolnaps and @slouchingathackley have recently emerged. They gained a quick following as students looked forward to seeing new posts every day.

“I love seeing their posts, the places students find to sleep are always so funny,” said Ber Bennett, a sophomore.

The account, @hackleyschoolnaps, has 192 followers and features freshmen to senior students. Students are often seen sleeping in the freshman hallway, sophomore bubble, Johnson Center, the bus, senior lounge, and empty classrooms.

Nap accounts have grown in popularity in many schools across the country, with students at nearby schools such as Masters, Poly Prep, Brunswick, and Horace Mann each making one. This surge in student-run accounts originated from a TikTok trend when users started making funny Instagram accounts for their schools. While entertaining, these accounts bring awareness to the serious problem of sleep deficiency in high school students.

According to the CDC, 7 in 10 high school students do not get enough sleep. Factors that can hinder the quality of sleep for high schoolers include academics, athletics, and the use of social media/technology at night. Demonstrated by the number of schools with a “nap account”, it’s clear this is not just a problem that Hackley faces but one that high schoolers everywhere encounter. Other schools like Poly Prep and the Convent of Sacred Heart in Greenwich have modified their schedule, starting at 9 and 8:45, to provide students with an extra hour of sleep.

The Upper School counselor, Katya Ostor, believes sleep deficit in Hackley students’ lives can be managed through the prioritization of getting enough sleep. Ms. Ostor recognizes the difficulty in maintaining a regular sleep schedule due to academic and athletic commitments but believes students work more efficiently and are more energized when well-rested. Ms. Ostor offers her help to students struggling with prioritizing the balance of academic, athletic, and social life.

For students struggling with getting sufficient sleep, Ms. Ostor emphasizes understanding the relationship between sleep quality and mood. Inadequate sleep often leads to frustration, irritability, and a decrease in concentration. However, continual insufficient sleep can even have more damaging effects, like increasing levels of depression and anxiety. Ms. Ostor suggests committing to a bedtime and refraining from screens for the half an hour to an hour leading up to sleep. There are also more individualized approaches that Ms. Ostor recommends. “Start some relaxation rituals, drink something warm, listen to music, quickly reflect on the day, and read.”