B.C. school offers students a space to snooze with nap room

If you spent any time in daycare or preschool as a child, you probably remember one of the best parts: nap time.

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You'd roll out your mat next to all your friends, curl up under a good blanket, and grab some shut-eye in the middle of the day, before getting back to the serious business of playtime.

It's a luxury most of us have had to give up with adulthood, but one post-secondary school in B.C. has brought it back as a convenient offering for adult students.

The British Columbia Institute of Technology's student union has established a nap room for students to catch some much-needed zees in the afternoon, in a comfortable and safe environment. Students can book one-hour blocks of time in the darkened nap room, where each person is provided with a mat to sleep on.

Second-year student Matthew Wiseman says he likes having the option to take a nap at school. "We don't get a lot of sleep, just because of the amount of work we are given," he told CTV Vancouver. He added that the room is "pretty quiet" and comfortable. "It was easy to fall asleep," he said.

Hannah Bielert of the BCIT Student Association says the nap room offers a safe alternative to students who might otherwise sleep in libraries, on benches or in hallways.

"We saw students napping all over both of our buildings, so we thought, if they're napping in places that aren't comfy, maybe they'll just come in a dark room and have a better sleep here," she told CTV Vancouver.

Students are asked to set their phone alarms to vibrate, so they can clear out of the room in time to let the next group in.

Rules prohibit cuddling or pushing mats together, and a glass wall allows administrators to keep an eye out for any safety concerns.

"We did want to go with a glass room, so that the students know that they can be seen," said Tye Embree, a health and wellness co-ordinator at BCIT.

He added that the nap room should help boost the productivity of students who use it.

"Studies show that a 20-40 minute power nap really increases your alertness," he said. "You function a little better at the workplace."

BCIT claims to be the first post-secondary institution in the province to set up a nap room. However, many technology companies have already embraced the trend. Hootsuite has a nap room at their B.C. headquarters, while Google and Facebook have gone one step further, by installing specially-designed sleep pods for their employees.

With files from CTV Vancouver


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