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Nap rooms planned for end of semester

By Scott Strasser, November 3 2015 —

The Students’ Union is finalizing its nap room plans, which will debut during Stress Less Week at the end of the fall semester.

The nap room will be in That Empty Space between Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 excluding Wednesday from 2:00-4:00pm. Nappers will hand in their student cards to an SU volunteer and set a time they wish to be woken up. They will then be assigned a mat where they can snooze for a maximum of 40 minutes.

Students are not allowed to use personal alarms and are urged to turn off their cellphones.

At least two SU volunteers will supervise the room.  Only one student is allowed per mat, which will be wiped down with disinfectant after each use. Volunteers will play relaxation music from YouTube and the first 75 nap room users will receive SU branded pillows.

Vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan’s ran on a nap room initiative during last year’s SU election. McGowan said lack of sleep is one of the biggest contributing factors to poor mental health.

“We want to draw attention to the importance of having healthy sleeping habits,” McGowan said.

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

Other North American universities have tried similar ideas. The University of Colorado at Boulder has a “siesta room” with sleep masks, bean bag chairs, couches and mats.

Mount Royal University set up a permanent nap space in September. The room has three beds for students to use.

McGowan said the SU will gauge user demand before deciding how many students can use the room at one time.

“I really hope a lot of students will be attending,” McGowan said. “That just proves we need something like this on campus and we’ll be able to advocate for keeping it next year.”

Third-year physics student Jordan Hanania said he’ll consider giving the nap room a try.

“I’ve found myself sleeping on the [MacHall] couches multiple times, so it’d be nice. The couches are pretty small,” Hanania said.

McGowan hopes a successful pilot week will result in a permanent nap room on campus in the future

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