College, How To, MIT

Power naps and nap spots on Campus (MIT 17 of 30)

There are some pretty nice places to nap on campus. Especially with the banana lounge in 26-110, nano building, and libraries, there are always comfortable places where I can take a nap. But even before the banana lounge was on campus, I still got pretty good at taking naps here and there.

Many of my friends don’t see the point of napping, and I didn’t see it either back in middle school. But my mother was persistent and told me to take 20-minute naps (I didn’t fall asleep back then, so I just laid there). But over the years, I found it to be an easy way to be mentally refreshed. Just a 10-minute nap can give me focus for several hours. I noticed this when I played League of Legends. Taking a short nap before strictly improves my ability to play and improves my attitude toward gamers who play poorly.

Moral of the story. Learn how to nap. Nap. Then go to class and not fall asleep then.

My napping adventures

Anyway, going back to my dorm always took too long (i.e., duration of a power nap), so I went to empty classrooms to nap. Libraries were always an option, but I like to lie down, and it’s hard to do that in a chair. However, most classrooms are not designed for napping. The floors are tiled and the tables are made of wood. That’s why I resorted to going to classrooms on the second floor of building 4, lecture halls in building 32 (they have carpeted floors), and rooms with tables so I could lie on top of them. Building E52 also has some good classrooms where I napped after waking up early for business classes. Taking a sweater and putting it under my head was an excellent way for me to get situated, and 10-30 minutes later, I’m out and ready for my next class.

I’ve had a few occasions where I hear the door to the room open and close as students realize I’m sleeping inside, but I know deep down they understand the struggle to get sleep.

How to nap

  1. Set a timer for 10, 15, 20 mins. Do not set it for more than 30 mins.
  2. Set your phone on do not disturb and prepare NOT to wake up until the alarm sounds or people bug you
  3. Lie down and close your eyes.
  4. Let your mind wander
  5. Do NOT wake up. Wait for the entire duration — even if you can’t fall asleep.
  6. Wake up on the alarm. If you do it enough times, you’ll be able to feel more and more refreshed.

Optional: drink coffee right before, so when you wake up, you’re super alert.

Comfortable Napping Spots on Campus

If you’re not like me and can’t sleep on a hard surface, I’d recommend:

  • 5th-floor stud (great for sleeping there all night)
  • Dewey Music Library because few people venture that way
  • All the other libraries
  • Banana Lounge
  • 3rd floor Nano sofas
  • Non-course 6 lounges
  • Outside Killian on a good day

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