Louie Villanueva

Students’ Union pilots nap rooms as part of Stress Less Week

By Fabian Mayer, December 1 2015 —

After months of hype, sleepy University of Calgary students finally have a place to rest their weary heads — albeit only for a week. The Students’ Union is hosting nap rooms as part of their bi-annual Stress Less Week.

Students can nap between 2:00–4:00 pm in That Empty Space every day this week except Wednesday.

Nyawargak Joseph is in her final year of disability studies. She was one of the room’s first users shortly after its initial opening on Monday, Nov. 30.

“It was very soothing, very calming,” Joseph said.  “The music is really amazing.”

Students are allowed to nap up to 40 minutes before being woken by attendants. Joseph hopes the nap rooms become permanent, but thinks the time should be extended.

“40 minutes is too short,” Joseph said. “Even adding like 10 minutes would be nice.”

SU vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan campaigned on bringing nap rooms to campus during the SU election last March. She said there’s a reason students’ nap time is limited.

“40 minutes is the recommended time for napping so that it doesn’t affect your natural sleep,” McGowan said.

According to McGowan, there was a lot of positive feedback from the students who used the nap rooms.  McGowan was pleased with Monday’s turnout of 10 students.

“It’s the first day — it always takes a little bit of time for any initiative to gain momentum so I think it’s pretty good,” McGowan said. “I’m excited to see how many students come the next couple of days.”

Joseph said she is often tired while on campus and that the nap room is a big improvement on her usual napping space — the Taylor Family Digital Library.

“There’s no noise, and even just the fact that there’s no light in there, it’s really nice,” Joseph said.

McGowan wants to highlight healthy sleep habits during Stress Less Week.

“Lack of sleep is one of the largest contributing factors to many mental-health issues and a lot of students don’t prioritize sleep.”

According to McGowan, 11 people used the nap rooms on Tuesday. McGowan said the Stress Less Week nap rooms are a test run to see if there is enough demand to justify a permanent nap space on campus.

“I’d like to see it run close to capacity most of the days,” McGowan said.

She said the SU will evaluate options for future nap rooms following Stress Less Week.


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