On Campus

It's nap time for university students

Should schools encourage students to sleep during the day?

Students are often accused of sleeping too much, so it may seem ironic that the University of California Davis has spent the past four years encouraging them to take more naps. The campaign has included social media advertising, plus the handing out of “nap kits” that include earplugs, an eye mask and a tip card, at a cost $2.75 each. The justification is that studies have shown that productivity and focus improves when people supplement a normal seven to nine hour sleep with 20 to 30 minute-long nap in the morning between 10 and 11 or in the afternoon between two and four.

At the annual meeting of the American College Health Association on Thursday, UC Davis health educators Amelia Goodfellow and Jason B. Spitzer presented some interesting research about how students on their campus are napping after four years of encouragement. If anything, their campaign has worked too well. Two-thirds of students on campus say they take naps. That would be great news, except that three-quarters of them nap for more than 30 minutes a time. That, say the researchers, is unhealthy.

Has your school encouraged you to nap? If so, tell us about it in the comments section.

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