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UC Davis Pushes Students To Nap Their Way To Success

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Students get some rest during a noncredit Power Nap class at UC Davis. The noncredit class launched this quarter as part of a sleep-positive campaign on campus.

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Between academics, jobs and busy social lives, college students often let sleep fall by the wayside. But at UC Davis and about 50 other schools, wellness staff want shuteye to be a top priority.

This quarter, a noncredit 30-minute power nap class gives students a quiet place to snooze. They curl up in thick blankets and lay down on yoga mats, using eye masks to block out the mid-day sun. An instructor guides them in meditation.

U.S. college students get roughly 7 hours of sleep each night, but experts say they really need 9 to function well.

5th year UC Davis student Renae Lewis says she’s sometimes too stressed to sleep soundly.

“Anxiety at night time that just comes with a lot of college stuff - thinking about what I have to get done the next day.”

Studies show napping for about 30 minutes can help restore a sleep deficit. That’s long enough to give your body a recharge but not so long that you enter a deep sleep and wake up feeling groggy.

Lewis says the nap class helps her feel rested.

“I just use the time to breathe and relax and not think about school”

Campus health promotion specialist Emilia Agguire [uh-gear-ee] says students should take sleep more seriously.

“Because it directly impacts your everyday lifestyle and your overall academic performance and wellbeing, it’s critical to being a successful student.”

The school also provides a ‘nap map’ of sleepable couches, grass lawns and hammocks around campus.


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