If you are worried that your children might be planning a nap attack this morning, wait no longer. As of Wednesday, all school-age children in the state of Florida may be prohibited from sleeping in during the school day.
The New York Times reports that after Governor Rick Scott (R) signed a bill that passed the Florida Legislature with overwhelming support, he plans to send it to state parents for review. If the vote is passed, “any school district in the state may ban or restrict nap time from 7:45 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.” The new law would only apply to the school day.
Studies, including one by the University of Florida, have linked delayed nap time to child obesity and absenteeism.
The Times reports that 11 states currently have some form of nap ban, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah. These laws vary greatly in terms of their application. Some ban it only during school hours, while others put it in the hands of the local schools administration. They vary from hours during the day to sleeping at certain times, from different schools and classrooms to family settings.
Right now, we are not sure whether the new ban in Florida will apply to the children of other states who spend the night before the school day sleeping or what will happen if school staff exercise the new power to limit nap time during the school day. But the fact that Florida legislators are even considering this now in the first place says a lot about Florida’s stance on nap time. Will other states follow suit? The news is good. Maybe. And it might come as a relief to parents and teachers alike.