Napping: beneficial for health, handy for students


When the Red Bulls and Roy O. coffees just aren't enough to keep those eyelids open, DePauw University students are turning to their final option: the nap.
Sleep can be a hard thing to fit into a busy schedule. Many DePauw students get creative with the times and places they catch some zzz's.
"With the work load I have, it's almost impossible to get to bed at a decent hour," sophomore Cassidy Melendez said. "Napping is my only option."
In August, a Facebook page titled "DePauw Naps" showcasing pictures of DePauw students asleep around campus popped up.
While the person who runs DePauw Naps asked to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, they gave us some insight on what the page is all about.
"The page was started because we noticed that people were always taking pictures of their friends awkwardly napping in public, but there was no outlet for these [pictures]," DePauw Naps said. "Now they have one."
Aside from being an outlet for these pictures, DePauw Naps also likes to think it can brighten one's day.
"We bring people together as they chuckle at the newest nap victims," DePauw Naps said.
Occasionally, students are featured multiple times on the site.
"I've been featured on DePauw Naps at least four times," first-year Eric Heaton said.
DePauw Naps isn't the only page that has caught on to people's fascination with napping.
Google Naps, similar to Google Maps, shows satellite images of the globe and allows users to drop a pin on the best places to nap in cities or towns all across the world. DePauw doesn't have any places to nap featured on the site yet.
Some of the more intriguing places on DePauw's campus that students are utilizing include the chairs in Watson Forum, the couches in the PCCM, the pods on the third floor of Roy O. West and under the trees near Bowman Park.
"We found a couch thrown out of Bishop Roberts," first-year Josh Clark said. "That's normally where I nap."
According to DePauw Naps, there are certain places that are most prominent for taking 40 winks. Among them is the communications department lounge, known as the Comm Pit, in the Green Center for Performing Arts (GCPA). Roy O. West Library and the Den are also popular snoozing spots.
Heaton agrees with these spots, finding it hard not to sleep in the GCPA.
"My favorite place is in the two blue chairs in the pit of the GCPA," Heaton said. "I push them together. I could sleep all day in them. Sometimes I have to set myself mini alarms just to keep from doing just that."
First-year Jessica Tilley has made sure to take advantage of as many DePauw spaces as she can.
"I've seriously napped in most of the academic buildings," Tilley said. "I'm surprised I'm not the mascot for DePauw Naps."
If a nice long nap is simply out of the question, some students are having to get creative, like first-year Kainat Akmal.
"I have found that if you drink a cup of coffee, then can manage to fall asleep before it kicks in, a short nap is all you need," Akmal said. "After 15 minutes, you're roaring and ready to go."
While the embarrassing photos of friends on DePauw Naps can be both entertaining and draw a good laugh, napping is an essential part to maintaining a healthy life.
According to the National Sleep Research Project, napping, even just power napping, helps to reduce stress and increase alertness and productivity. Sleep is also good for helping improve memory.
Aside from the mental aspects of napping, it can help lighten a person's mood and has been known to cure hangovers.
According to the project, the best time to nap is between noon and two o'clock in the afternoon.
Meditation gives the body similar effects of a nap, as well as exercising and eating a healthier diet. Even being out in the sun can boost one's mood and energy.
No matter the reason or the technique used in achieving it, however, the nap is the ultimate important part in any DePauw student's life.