Opinion: Students are desperately seeking space to snooze on campus

Taesa Hodel Illustration
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By Kelsea Franzke

If anyone could reap the benefits from a midday snooze, it would be a college student.

In 2016, BCIT installed two sleep pods in its Burnaby campus library for students to take naps, making it the first post-secondary school in the Lower Mainland to do so. No other schools have followed suit, but it’s time that Langara seriously considered installing a designated sleep area on campus.

Quality of sleep and academic performance is related

A clinical review published by Sleep Medicine found that sleep quality and quantity are closely related to academic performance and learning capacity. This means that when a student’s sleep is restricted by trying to balance school, work and a social life, they will experience lower neurocognitive performance, and poor declarative and procedural learning. The clinical review also found that students from various education levels are chronically sleep deprived and often suffer from daytime sleepiness.

As a student, I’m all too familiar with the feeling of heavy eyelids and having my head bob like a chicken while trying to stay awake in class. I’ve also caught drool slipping from my lips while I dozed during a lecture more times than I’d like to admit.

Twenty minutes is all it takes

A quick catnap between classes could provide students with the ability to feel significantly more alert—a benefit for both students and instructors. Considering that Langara does not have student residences, right now the best place to count sheep on campus is a quiet corner in the library (although I doubt the librarians appreciate sleeping students in study spaces).

The National Sleep Foundation suggests a nap of just 20 to 30 minutes can restore alertness, enhance performance and reduce mistakes and accidents. A quick shut-eye lasting any longer is more likely to be accompanied by grogginess, so it’s best to keep your midday siesta to a minimum.

So please Langara, give us some space to sleep on campus. Both students and staff could use a quick nap sometime during their busy days—I know I sure could.

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