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Where are the best napping spots on campus?

Approaching finals, students can be found sleeping at the Nasher, Bryan Center, Rubenstein Library and West Union.
Approaching finals, students can be found sleeping at the Nasher, Bryan Center, Rubenstein Library and West Union.

Naps have become a staple of the college experience. College allows sleep-deprived and overly-stressed students to finally recognize the true beauty of a nap and its seemingly limitless healing powers. After a long day of classes or even midway through a rough week, students find time to nap and to recharge for the rest of their day. 

And it is no different at Duke. Even with their hectic schedules and immense class load,  students seem to seek out naps. Whether some form of procrastination or necessary relaxation, naps have become a quintessential part of the college experience. But for many, finding the best nap places on campus when they cannot get back to their dorm rooms can be a process of trial and error, trying out each library, dining hall and academic building. The most important factors of these places for students seem to be a mixture of warmth, comfort and being able to hide away from naptime judgment. Here are some of Duke students’ favorite places:

Nasher Art Museum

Napping at the Nasher Art Museum with its huge windows, tremendous views of Duke forest and quiet atmosphere can be a truly relaxing experience. And it is the perfect spot when students are traveling from East to West Campus, or vice-versa, and need a quick break in the middle.

In the far left corner of the Nasher behind the exhibit rooms is a section of chairs and couches, tucked away from the majority of museum visitors. Students can put in some earbuds, pull up a chair and drift off to sleep. 

For first-year India Haber, napping at the Nasher has become a ritual passtime between classes.

“When it’s sunny outside, the sun hits you just right and it warms you up,” Haber said, reminiscing about her favorite naps in front of the Nasher’s windows.

Bryan Center

The Bryan Center is full of nooks and hiding places for sleeping. Students do not have to look for long to find comfortable spots for a midday rest. Just walking around the building, students can find their peers passed out on benches and curled up in chairs. 

“There’s a nice couch in there that I can lay down on,” first-year Alex Chao said. 

First-year Julia Nasco found her favorite in the chairs by Reynolds Theatre, warmed up with lights, another perfect nap for students in need of a cozy, quiet spot.

David M. Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library

The Rubenstein Library, with its peaceful interior and cozy atmosphere, has become both the ideal place for not only research, but also napping. For students, it fits the necessary nap requirements with its quiet and warm environment, filled with hidden spots to escape judgment from peers.

Students will scour the floors looking for the ideal napping grounds or happen upon a sleeping spot during a study break.

First-year Rayhan Jhangi found his spot on the third floor. 

“It has great natural light and is always quiet,” Jhangi said. 

For first-year Lizzy Fiepke, the best place for naps is on the fourth floor, tucked away, either on the couches or the nook by the window.

“People rarely walk past to judge you,” Fiepke said, highlighting a benefit of this nap spot.

West Union

West Union is full of comfy places to rest after a long day of classes, not to mention the best food for post-class relaxation. 

For many, including junior Rachael Lau, the best spot for naps is the gray couches in West Union. There, students can surround themselves with food and unfinished work to escape a long day. There are also bean bags on the second floor that are perfect for sleeping in. 

“They are in this little corner of the building that is pretty quiet and secluded, and the bean bags themselves are very comfy,” first-year Lindsey Shi said.

Finding a napping place is a commitment for the next four years, a commitment comparable to a significant other or buying a first home. It becomes an escape from the stressors of school, a safety blanket in the face of struggles and a survival technique against the challenges ahead. And finding that perfect spot can take time, so experimentation and “napping around” is encouraged. Ultimately, naps are necessary for college students and the perfect nap spot can make all the difference. 


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