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Nap rooms coming to That Empty Space this semester

By Hayden McBennett, March 26 2015 —

Looking to take an afternoon snooze on campus? You’re in luck. Incoming Students’ Union vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan has made headway on her promise to bring nap rooms to the University of Calgary.

The nap rooms will debut at the end of the semester during the SU’s Stress Less Week. Students can rest in That Empty Space, where nap times will be 30–50 minutes long.

McGowan said lack of sleep is an overlooked issue at the U of C. She said getting more sleep is an important factor in maintaining good mental-health.

“By bringing awareness to that, students will see the benefit to allocating time to getting enough sleep,” McGowan said.  “I think it’s definitely something that a lot of students will utilize.”

The nap rooms are based on similar programs at other universities. The University of Colorado at Boulder has a “siesta room” that includes eyefolds, earplugs, beanbag chairs, couches and mats. Students sign in and let organizers know when to wake them up.

The SU will outfit That Empty Space with mattresses, which they’ll clean after every session.

In the SU Wellness Centre’s 2013 health assessment, over 45 per cent of students reported feeling drowsy most days.

“We have a lot of very strong mental-health initiatives at the U of C and [nap rooms] will add to the strength of our initiatives,” she said.

McGowan hopes the temporary nap rooms will act as a stepping stone to a permanent space for students to sleep on campus.

“We’re looking to get some statistics on how many students use them so that when we look for permanent space or permanent programming in That Empty Space we’ll have some solid statistics that prove that students actually will use them,” McGowan said.

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