College club dedicated to napping
Published: Sunday, February 18, 2007
Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009 08:09
SOUTH BEND- The idea of college students walking around campus with pillows and blankies seems funny, and the idea of a nap club at Indiana University South Bend did, indeed, start out as a joke. But students Michael Duttlinger and Joe Spencer, president and vice president, respectively, might have started something that could revolutionize the school. Science says napping can heighten creativity, boost memory and increase alertness. So students who nap potentially boost their GPAs, which could lead to better jobs. No joke. "We were being funny and talking about starting a club, and I'm, like, 'What should we do?'" recalls Duttlinger, a South Bend sophomore studying social studies education. Spencer suggested Duttlinger do something he liked, and napping came to mind. They laughed. "And then two weeks later we were like, wait a minute, this is a really good idea. ... It's so brilliantly simple," Duttlinger, 19, says. The IUSB Nap Club consists of a quiet room with the shades drawn, a few desks and chairs, and six air mattresses, purchased through a small sum allotted to campus clubs. (The club doesn't provide pillows and blankets.) Up to 15 people can come in to doze. A moderator wakes them up at the appropriate time and "makes sure no one messes with you or your stuff," Duttlinger says. So far, the club has attracted a steady stream of nappers, and there are 30 to 35 people on its e-mail list. Duttlinger moderates the nap room more than sleeping in it, but he has had a couple of opportunities to sleep in the early afternoon before heading to class. "It's nice to be able to just crash for an hour and keep going," he says. Spencer, a 22-year-old philosophy senior from Mishawaka, is also a fan. "It keeps me from nodding off during a class," he says. "It helps me get that second wind that sometimes I really, really need." Except for a few snickers, the club had no problem being approved officially last semester. It has the support of many professors "because they'd rather have people sleep (in the nap room) than in class," Duttlinger says. Sociology professor Daniel Olson, the club's adviser, sees the importance. "In my freshman classes, I've done surveys. They're taking 12 credits, a full load," he says. "They're working 24 hours a week for pay. They're working really hard, and some of them have families and kids and stuff like that, too." With no dorms at IUSB, a student with a big hole between classes could really benefit from a nap room. "Yeah, it makes sense," Olson says. Duttlinger predicts a greater demand for sleep space as the year progresses. "I think it'll spike up around midterms and finals," he says. "Right now the semester's still pretty new."