John Palfrey Challenges Students to Get More Sleep

In hopes of encouraging students to get more sleep, Head of School John Palfrey issued a challenge to the Andover student body, challenging them to sleep for as many or more hours than he will during the month of October.

“Can you get more sleep than I do? You are challenged: for the month of October, log your nightly sleep using any form of tracking — on a gadget or on a plain sheet of paper, it doesn’t matter. The honor system governs. I will also track my amount of sleep on a daily basis,” wrote Palfrey in an email to the student body.

Although data collected through surveys by the administration office suggests Andover students are the most stressed during the fall terms, Palfrey hopes students can focus equally on their own well-being and restfulness as well as academics.

“I thought that now would be a great time to focus on [students’] well-being and also on focusing on myself and making sure that I get enough sleep. This competition just has to do with our emphasis on well-being and the fact that I believe that excellence in academics and other aspects of life can be consistent with getting enough sleep,” said Palfrey in an interview with The Phillipian.

This competition was devised as part of the Empathy and Balance pillar from the Strategic Plan, a curriculum focusing on the promotion of health, community and well-being.

“I actually think that if you start with sleep and then you build other things around it, that is the path to success, whether it’s a matter of sports, athletics, academics or arts,” said Palfrey.

Students who plan on participating are required to hand in a sleep log to Palfrey’s office by the first week of November. The students who slept as much or more as Palfrey will get to receive one of multiple $25 gift cards and will be entered in a raffle to win a new FitBit.

“[Getting more sleep] is something I work on all the time. I have a very busy job that pulls me in lots of different directions, but I feel like I perform better in every way if I’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep so that’s my goal for this month, to get 8 hours of better sleep,” said Palfrey.

At the end of the month, a celebration featuring healthy food will be hosted for all students who have participated in the challenge.