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The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

The Falcon

The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

The Falcon

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Students snore in psychology class study

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Students walked into psychology class with pillows and blankets in hand preparing to sleep for the duration of their second period. 

It might seem odd, but this was part of a major assignment. Students were participating in a sleep lab where they were allowed to sleep in class. 

Each year, Upper School psychology teacher Ms. Liz Chambers conducts a sleep study where students observe the effects of sleep on their body temperatures and heart rates. The study takes place following a unit titled “Biology of Behavior and Consciousness.” 

One of the main topics students learn about in this unit is the four stages of sleep. Students also study theories about why humans need to sleep and the purpose of dreams, nightmares and night terrors.

Ms. Chambers played a recorded reading of “Beauty and the Beast” to help the students fall asleep.

“I didn’t fall asleep, but I enjoyed listening to ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ It really calmed me down,” junior Caroline Nelson said.

Before falling asleep, students used a thermometer to measure their body temperature and a heart rate monitor to take their heart rates. 

“We learned that our body temperatures and heart rates are supposed to lower after sleeping,” junior Landon Carrillo said. 

The students put that to the test. After an hour, students took their temperatures and heart rates again. 

The students used what they last remembered from the story, along with their starting and ending temperatures and heart rates to determine what stage of sleep they were in. 

“Every year this lesson is a favorite with the students because it gives them a hands-on way to see what we’re learning in action,” Ms. Chambers said. “And when else would you get to sleep at school?”

Overall the lab was a success. Almost all the students who participated noted that their heart rates and body temperatures had dropped. 

I felt a lot calmer than when we started the lab, and I really enjoyed relaxing while also learning something new about myself” junior Jack Paris said.

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