DC Oshawa campus getting napping area

The new Centre for Collaborative Education, being built to replace the old Simcoe Building, will include a napping area for students.

Napping areas in colleges and universities are a new trend in helping to combat stressed out and tired students.

Schools across North America, such as Algonquin College, have added them after they found an increased number of students sleeping in libraries.

Colleges and universities have taken varied approaches to setting up their napping spaces, from monitored rooms with couches or beds to sleeping tubes and futuristic napping pods called EnergyPod.

“They are very well used and very popular,” says Don MacRae, managerf Administrative Services at Algonquin College. “Students are loving them.”

Many schools are testing them out to see what the demand will be. While it’s well known that finals are a stressful time, research suggests the entire school year is stressful and leaves students vulnerable to becoming sleep deprived.

“On a weekday, probably 7-8 hours, depending on what time I get to bed,” says Amy Johnston, a second year Fine Arts student at Durham College. “At school, I’m always half asleep.”

“At school, I’m always half asleep.”

College students need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night, according to the Better Sleep Council Canada, but with a cultural acceptance of pulling late nights and all-nighters, students just aren’t getting the sleep they need.

The National Institutes of Health say college students are one of the most sleep-deprived populations. Not only does sleep deficiency cause problems reacting and focusing, it can also impact your ability to learn, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

It says sleep deficiency also weakens your immune system, leaving you more likely to get sick and can make you vulnerable to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

While naps are a good short-term fix to sleep deficiency, the real solution is just getting more sleep at night. A regular sleeping pattern is recommended for best results.

While taking a nap during the day might help you stay focused, overdoing it or sleeping too close to bed time just might make it worse. Past the 20 to 30-minute sweet spot for napping you run the risk of hitting a similar state of sleep as you do when you sleep at night, leaving you groggy and making it harder for you to get up, says the National Sleep Foundation.

Still, early morning or long breaks between classes may bring out the temptation to nap, especially when you’ve been up late working on assignments or studying. Naps are shown to bring down stress levels while increasing productivity, according to a University of Kansas study.

The napping areas trend has even extended into the workplace. HootSuite and Intuit in Canada have added them into their buildings saying letting employees catch a quick nap will boost productivity rather than leave them falling asleep at their desks.

For now, Durham College has private study rooms that you can book or drop by to get some quiet studying done and a Zen room for meditation. If you don’t live on campus, you’re out of luck for a place to grab a couple zzzs until the CFCE is built.

“When I am feeling tired, which is most of the time, I’ll just go sleep for an hour or two.” Johnston says. “So If I had somewhere I could nap in the middle of the day that would help a lot.”