By Kristen Fedor, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 20, 2014
Finding the time to squeeze in a nap between the demanding schedules of University students is often an exhausting endeavor in itself. However, Engineering junior Adrian Bazbaz, Central Student Government Representative, has a plan to ease those woes.
At the Jan. 14 CSG meeting, Bazbaz proposed designated napping locations throughout campus libraries. He cited the success of similar sleeping spots at major companies, such as Google, as his inspiration for the proposal.
Though he is still working with both CSG and facility directors of the libraries to solidify what the napping locations will look like, Bazbaz hopes to have trial spaces open in the Duderstadt Center and the Shapiro Undergraduate Library in the near future.
Bazbaz described a setup of couches and lounge chairs that students can use for a quick nap between classes or during a long night of studying. He also proposed the idea of cushions-for-rent that students would sign out with their MCards.
LSA sophomore Irene Suh, a CSG representative, is working with Bazbaz to rectify the drowsiness dilemma on campus. Both emphasized that overtired students have become the unfortunate norm.
“As a student, if you walk into any library, especially late, you’re always going to see at least a handful of people sleeping,” Suh said.
Bazbaz and Suh consulted Assistant Neurology Prof. Shelley Hershner, director of the Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, whose research highlights the consequences of sleep deprivation.
Hershner said lack of sleep has a direct negative effect on academic performance. According to her research, 75 percent of University students frequently fall asleep while reading.
Hershner also cited a recent study by William Kelly, a University of Nevada professor, that demonstrated a correlation between sleep and GPA. Students who had less than six hours of sleep per night regularly had an average 2.74 GPA, while students who were able to get at least nine hours of sleep per night had an average 3.24 GPA.
However, the lack of sleep has the potential to be much more dangerous. Hershner also found that 69 percent of University students have felt drowsy or fallen asleep at the wheel.
While Bazbaz’s proposal may not completely alter the average student’s sleeping pattern, Hershner added that an increase in naps and campus-wide encouragement of healthier sleep patterns can be part of the solution.
However, designated sleeping sections of the library pose some safety concerns for the University. The safety of a sleeper’s belongings and use of area by non-students are top priorities that any program must take into account.
Both Bazbaz and Suh ensured that safety precautions would be taken if the program becomes a reality. Students will have to present their Mcards to sign into these assigned areas, and a desk worker will supervise the napping locations.
Another obstacle for the project is funding. Sun said she hopes to raise awareness about the proposal through partnering with other student organizations that can help fund the creation of these napping spaces.
Bazbaz said he expects a positive response from the student body. He anticipates sending out a survey in the coming weeks to gauge student interest and hopefully prove that the creation of napping locations will be a success.
Though students can nap at home, Suh said proximity and time can be issues, with commuters and those who live on the outskirts of campus, specifically in the dorms on North Campus.
“You shouldn’t have to go all the way back home just to take a nap,” Suh said.