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Catching a nap on campus


Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology can now find the best sites on campus for taking a quick nap between classes, using the "Naps" link on the RIT website. They can click on the link, and a map with little Z's scattered all over campus will show them where they can catch some.

The website was about two years in the making, says Rachel Tassoni, who heads the Student Government's Facilities, Parking, and Transportation Committee. The impetus: a group of students who kept being waked up by people who didn't think they should be sleeping on couches and chairs in the library, hallways, and lounge areas. Some of the students complained that the couches were being removed so they couldn't be used for napping, says Tassoni.

The pro-napping students circulated a petition to determine whether there was strong support for designated places to nap. They also took a survey asking students for their recommendations on the best nap sites on campus. Students rated the spots by comfort level, noise, foot traffic, and accessibility, says Tassoni.

In addition, the pro-nappers identified no-nap areas, places where faculty didn't want students napping, she says.

The students also researched the health benefits of napping. "We found that a 20-minute nap can help students with better test performance, and to be less moody and irritable," Tassoni says.

The campus now has 22 nap locations, with five deemed official nap stations complete with posters and guidelines. (Among them: naps shouldn't be longer than 30 minutes.)

"We've seen the website go from a few hundred students using it to over a thousand using it now," says Tassoni.