OPINION: Insomnia and paranoia in Humber’s nap lounge

by | Mar 18, 2016 | Campus News, Life, News, North, Opinion

Corey Brehaut

Given the opening of Humber College’s brand-new nap room, I decided that it was time to do my job as a hardboiled journalist and take a nap.

Step one, book time in the nap room. I figured that with a bunch of young college students staying up too late Netflix and chillin’, I should book my nap well in advance. So I went down to KX208 on North campus, where the room is and talked to the single attendant sitting at her laptop in front of the room. I scheduled my nap for 1 p.m. the next day.

I was ecstatic. A little bit of background: I am an avid napper. I take no fewer than three naps a week and they last a minimum of an hour. I have been known to nap for up to three hours at a time. Not like, I’ve done that before but more that I do that regularly.

Being awake is one of my most dreaded expectations. Life is a series of painful events that eventually lead back to the blissful joy of sleep.

Anyway, the fated hour approached and I marched triumphantly to my on-the-clock nap. I filled out the waiver, which asked for my name, phone number and student ID. Standard stuff.

I forfeit any belongings that might get stolen, vibrating alarms only, blah blah blah. I was given a plastic card with my chair number and told that there were Clorox wipes for before and after my nap which I can readily inhale while I catch a few of zzz’s.

Also, how dirty are these things going to be getting, I wonder?

My impressions of the nap room were weird. The lights are all kept off and the six psychiatrist couches are separated by Japanese partitions. There was one other person in the room that I noticed when I walked around to get a feel of the place.

I was wandering around and checking things out because it’s my job as a reporter but just imagine for a moment how many opportunities for creepers this new, basically unsupervised space offers up?

Oh, and it’s not actually dark in there. The room is a converted study room overlooking the cafeteria. One of the glass walls isn’t covered so anybody walking by can have a lookie-loo.

First impressions aside, I set my bag down in one of the public cubbies and dearly hoped nobody would rob me. No one did.

Mentally prepared, I laid down in my assigned seat. It’s sort of a chair in that it’s elevated, but it’s sort of a bed in that it’s mostly a flat surface. Sitting (lying?) at a 45-degree angle with rounded grooves for my head, bum and feet, I suddenly don’t feel very tired. The seat is distractingly comfortable in an artificial, ergonomic kind of way. Productively comfortable. These chairs definitely came from IKEA.

I played around on my phone for about 10 minutes. I updated my ‘To Do’ list, calendar, responded to a couple of emails and checked my Facebook. Then I tried to nap.

The key word is “tried.”

I just couldn’t do it. The whole idea was so awkward. There was another person napping five feet away from me, anybody at all could look in through the glass wall, and the only protection my stuff had is a 20-year-old woman playing on her laptop outside the door.

Every time the incredibly heavy door slams shut, my eyes pop open and scan the room for the murderer or solicitor or whoever. I lasted about a half hour of my allotted hour before going to grab lunch instead.

It is relaxing though. I spend my days running around back and forth between my editorial colleagues, reporters, professors and correspondents from other classes and that’s in addition to doing an internship and finding part-time work in a broken economy. I’m not exactly known for my saint-like patience or sunny disposition and I like taking frequent breaks. Also, I’ve recently quit smoking.

I get stressed from time to time, is what I’m saying.

Due to this and my experience not napping in the nap room, I’m recommending a change of name to ‘Chill Room’. While not a great atmosphere for sleeping, having a room dedicated to quiet reflection in soft light would be a great place to be able to escape to in the throes of a panic attack or just because life sucks.