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16 April 2014

Nap rooms would be a dream come true

Running around from classroom to classroom and from events to meetings, it’s easy for students on this campus to tire themselves out by 3 p.m. Then, if we have an evening class or late-night meeting, that means we’re drifting around on the brink of exhaustion until we can finally crawl into bed.

More than half of the University of Miami student body does not live on campus. Those of us who don’t have dorms or nearby apartments can either fall asleep on the Green or guzzle down coffee to keep us going the rest of the day. We propose introducing another solution: a nap room.

A nap room may sound preposterous, but it’s not an entirely new concept. Innovative companies that care about the well-being of their employees, and even a few other college campuses, have already latched on to the idea.

When Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, visited campus on April 8, she said she introduced nap rooms at HuffPost headquarters to change the company’s culture because studies have shown that sleep improves productivity. President Donna E. Shalala also vouched for the importance of sleep during the talk (so we hope she backs us on this idea).

And, last year, Harvard University students made national headlines when they circulated a petition calling for a nap room.

Certainly, it’s easier to provide nap rooms at a large company, where regulations can easily be enforced, than on a college campus. But it has worked for the University of Colorado at Boulder, where students have had the Siesta Room – complete with beanbags, mats and couches – since 2009.

A nap room at UM raises questions about feasibility: How do you keep it clean? Ensure that it’s used for its intended purpose? Prevent people from overstaying their welcome? But we’ve got some answers.

The nap room would only be accessible by Cane Card, and students would be allotted a limited number of naps per week or semester.

When Oasis moves to the food court, its large space with transparent glass walls would be the perfect space for a monitor-able nap room. We’re not asking the university to provide free housing for commuters. Daytime operating hours when we most desperately need a power nap – say 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. –  should do the trick.

It may seem strange to nap in plain sight, but when you can’t even fathom staying awake through your 5 p.m. class, the idea doesn’t seem like such a snooze at all.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.