Newly elected Board of Governors student representative hopes to implement nap rooms on campus

Pulling all-nighters or getting little-to-no sleep is a common occurrence for many Ryerson students. Newly elected Board of Governors student representative Hannah Van Dyk is hoping to change that. When she becomes one of the 24 board members for the next academic year, she hopes to implement nap rooms around campus.

Hannah Van Dyk hopes to implement nap rooms on campus during her term next year on Ryerson's Board of Governors. (Courtesy of Hannah Van Dyk)

Hannah Van Dyk hopes to implement nap rooms on campus during her term next year on Ryerson’s Board of Governors. (Courtesy of Hannah Van Dyk)

“As a commuter school we ask our students to do a lot and to give a lot of themselves, especially when they are commuting so early in the morning,” Van Dyk says. “You might not be performing to the best of your ability, so I think that nap rooms could combat that.”

Usama Iftikhar, a first-year chemical engineering student, commutes to Ryerson from Richmond Hill every day. Like many of his peers, it takes him two hours to get to school in the morning. He believes nap rooms would help him, not only in school, but in his home life.

“I have long breaks in between class and nothing to do. If I could sleep here then I could do more at home, like exercise and housework, which have both taken a big hit since I’ve been at school.”

Van Dyk suggests turning some of Ryerson’s study spaces into nap rooms. She says she hasn’t figured out all of the logistics yet, but hopes to work with the board to do so.

Study spots on campus have recently increased due to the new Student Learning Centre (SLC) building.

Universities in the United States have implemented student nap areas on campus, but Canadian institutions haven’t really followed suit.

There have been different types of napping strategies throughout the universities in the U.S. Some have a designated room with furniture for students to lay on for a quick snooze, while others, like the University of Michigan, have been testing out MetroNaps Energy Pods.

The energy pod is a chair designed especially for napping. It comes with an option to play soothing music or gentle vibrations in order to create a relaxing atmosphere. Although there are a lot of different choices, time limits for naps are fairly consistent among schools. They range between 15 minutes to an hour.

In a Ryerson survey, about 30 per cent of students say sleep impacts their academics. Research has shown that sleep deprivation will affect a student’s ability to focus and take in information.

“The lack of sleep definitely slows down productivity when working and sometimes the quality of the work,” says Jacqueline Foott, a fourth-year architecture student.

Foott would like to see nap rooms in all of Ryerson’s buildings as she spends a lot of late nights working at school. She says she likes the supportive community of working with her peers rather than working at home alone.

But not everyone is a fan of taking a nap at school.

“If it’s not my bed, I can’t fall asleep. It would be weird to sleep at school,” says Fiza Sajjad, a second-year accounting student. She also questions how the school would keep these potential nap rooms hygienic.

Students will have to wait until September to see if Ryerson plans on implementing nap rooms. Van Dyk will take her place on the Board of Governors in September.

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