Catch up on some z’s in nap rooms

By Kendall Tich

With the job market down and the stress level of employed Americans at an all time high, many employees are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.

With the increasing number of employees out sick or those who are tired while on the job, companies are beginning to introduce “nap rooms.”

These rooms are designed for employees to grab a quick nap in between work activities in hopes of making them more productive while awake.

Companies such as The Huffington Post and Nationwide Planning Associates have created these rooms and the trend seems to be catching on in other companies across the country as well.

Many question the impact that a nap can have on the rest of your day. Dr. Steven Feinsliver, the director of the Mount Sinai Center for Sleep Medicine believes in the importance of naps if you cannot get enough sleep the night before.

“We all get sleepy in the mid afternoon, and it looks like our body blocks are winding down a little bit then” said Feinsliver. “If you need an extra two hours of sleep, getting a half an hour is good, and it helps.”

For Huffington Post founder and President Arianna Huffington, naps have certainly become a beneficial part of the workday.

“Sleep makes us much more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier” said Huffington.

In addition to businesses, nap rooms are becoming a part of the medical environment and are even being implemented in hospitals, particularly for emergency room doctors and nurses.

According to Steven Howard, MD at Stanford University School of Medicine, a nap can be very helpful in improving alertness and energy throughout the day.

“Napping is a very powerful, very inexpensive way of improving our work” said Howard.

Because of this, Howard has begun implementing an official napping program at the hospital at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

“This is the first time a napping program has been instituted to try to get at the problem of fatigue in the workplace for health-care workers” said Howard.

Also released from The Stanford University of Medicine was a study proving that emergency room workers and doctors in hospitals who are given time to take a nap and get extra sleep would be happier, more alert and nicer to their patients.

With nap rooms becoming an increasingly important addition to many companies nationwide, it’s impossible not to hope that universities such as our own will adopt this new system as well.

According to US News: Health, college students should be getting between eight and nine hours of sleep every night, but the majority of students get much less than that.

This same study showed that at least 50 percent of Americans are sleep deprived and young adults made up a large percent of this statistic.

Assistant Professor Philip Alapat at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex., has paid particular attention to the sleeping habits of college students and has noticed that many are not getting the recommended amount of sleep.

“Any prolonged sleep deprivation will affect your mood, energy level and ability to focus, concentrate and learn, which directly affects your academic performance” said Alapat.

Cramming late at night for an exam may seem to be the most productive option, but it appears to only be hurting the student. When you don’t get enough sleep, you become cranky and depressed and are also leaving yourself more vulnerable to getting sick repeatedly — perhaps the source of the recent flu that has left many USD students bedridden.

Although it is convenient for USD freshman and on campus residents to return to their rooms to get in a quick nap in between classes, students who commute from off campus often face the entire day with sleep deprivation since it is hard to drive back and forth all day.

Couches and chairs are an easy place to sleep but it’s difficult to snag some shuteye when there are other college students around you vigorously working on homework and studying.

Many USD students think that a nap room, similar to what the Huffington post has created, would be extremely beneficial.

“I would love to just go to a room sometime during the day and sleep in complete silence” said sophomore Julia Gautho. “I don’t live on campus so it’s hard for me to drive back and forth—I think a nap room would be an awesome idea”.

For other students, naps are the last thing on their minds. In fact, many college kids are unable to nap or already feel as though they are getting the adequate amount of sleep.

“I try to nap during the day to catch up on sleep but am usually unable to fall asleep” said sophomore Brent Lyons. “It’s usually better for me to sleep an extra hour at night than take a nap during the day.”

For those who don’t take naps, however, nap rooms can still improve the environment around them.

If students who need extra sleep are able to get a few z’s in before class, they will be more likely to project that energy on the rest of the class and create an overall better learning environment.

An increasing number of students feeling well rested and eager to participate in class can lead to more engagement and interaction in the classroom and an overall better educational community.

It seems as though large companies’ creation of nap rooms have started a trend that is beginning to expand nationwide.

As the popularity of nap rooms increases, ollege students can only hope that this concept reaches the universities so that we too can be well rested and more productive throughout the day.