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BCIT nap room aims to help students focus on their studies

The B.C. Institute of Technology students' association has launched a new pilot program to help sleep-deprived students catch a catnap during the day.

The pilot program follows in the footsteps of companies like Apple and Google

The new nap room at BCIT provides students with a vinyl mattress, a pillow and a pillowcase laundered after every use. (CBC)

The B.C. Institute of Technology students' association has launched a new pilot program to help sleep-deprived students catnap during the day. 

Students can book a one-hour slot in the new nap room at BCIT on weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

"We do see a lot of students napping all over campus ... on couches, on chairs, on their books. And so we figured if they're sleeping there, they might like a nicer, quieter, darker space," said health and wellness coordinator Hannah Bielert. 

Health and wellness coordinator Hannah Bielert says the nap room at BCIT was initiated because students were already sleeping elsewhere on campus. (CBC)

"It's more for their mental health — a short nap can go a long way," she said. "That short 30, 40 minute nap can really recharge their batteries and help them focus more in class."

The nap room provides vinyl mats that are wiped down after every use, and pillows with laundered cases. 

The room is situated in a squash court — the glass enclosure is meant to help with safety. There is no attendant while the nap room is in session, but Bielert said security officers check in from time to time.

Nap rooms for everyone?

It's not the first of it's kind — the University of Calgary has also recently launched a similar space.

Dr. Atul Khullar, medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic, said companies like Google and Apple have been doing it for years. 

Sleep expert Atul Khullar says companies like Apple and Google have had nap rooms for years. (CBC)

He agreed that getting a bit of shut-eye during the day could help people, students in particular. 

"It's always good to look at getting post-secondary students more sleep," he said. 

But he added that more can be done to ensure people are getting enough sleep in the first place. 

"I think we also have to look at the root causes of why people are sleep deprived," he said. 

He said a heavy workload and poor eating habits are often to blame. 

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