Sophie Henry

Where do Yalies nap? Most of the time, not in their own bedrooms. Yalies are busy, Yalies are sleep deprived, Yalies are doing things everywhere on campus — except staying in their own rooms. We asked WKND staffers about their napping habits. Below are their responses. 

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The upper bunk bed in the tiny L-Dub double is too high to climb. L-Dub residents, in and out of my entryway, have naturally bonded over this common suffering. The perfect napping spot for me will allow me to avoid my bed but encounter other L-Dub residents. For this reason, it is cultivated in the L-Dub courtyard.

My pre-English class nap has four tenets: find an empty bench, ideally free of that weird black bag from Camp Yale, lather on bug spray, shuffle Spotify’s “TrenChill K-R&B” playlist and lay “On Writing Well” over my eyes. The sun unfortunately reminds me that this is a carefully scheduled GCal nap at 2 p.m., and my pillow is a composition notebook. 

On this bench, I usually can’t even fall asleep. But L-Dub’s energy — from eavesdropping on surrounding daytime chatter to hugging the other kids banished to live in LDub — fills my daydreams with chaotic sweetness. At first, I chose to nap here because Old Campus is the only place where being a “stupid freshman” is the norm. But now, it feels meditative to close my eyes and pretend as if anything about L-Dub is chill. In the eye of our constantly frenzied storm that is freshman year at Yale, my wooden bench could not be cozier.

— Kayla Yup

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One thing my first in-person class taught me after a year of remote learning: napping is directly correlated with being a better student. There is always at least one student in the first five rows in my 200-person economics lecture who naps knowing that our professor is watching. Nappers in class are, without a doubt, the brightest students. They have already mastered the basics of economics — resource and time allocation. They take advantage of the warmth in the classroom compared to the mind numbing wind outside and let the dim yellow lights in the hall lull them to sleep. Especially on Thursdays, when the pressure to work and go to Woads has accumulated, I can’t help but admire the sea of bobbing heads, like waves, half in nods to the professor’s take on asset management and the other half to tender chicken dreams. 

— Eda Aker

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I am vehemently opposed to napping. I hadn’t napped since reading “Pride and Prejudice” in 10th grade. 

But I must confess that I took a little power nap in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library recently. It wasn’t intentional. It had been a long day, and I was watching a CS50 lecture. I felt my eyes grow heavy. My lounge chair felt so cozy. The next thing I know, I’m waking up in a daze, looking around to take in my surroundings.

My first thought was that I really hoped I wasn’t snoring in that eerily silent place. Oh, the shame! But I must confess while I normally wake up from naps feeling groggy, this time, it was rejuvenating. I felt good. I even enjoyed the rest of the CS50 lecture. 

All that said, I remain steadfast in my anti-nap beliefs. It was a one-time phenomenon, this glorious nap. But to all my napping friends, maybe I won’t judge you so harshly anymore.

— Andrew Cramer 

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I write this having just woken up in the Humanities Quadrangle student lounge.

I feel disoriented but refreshed. I think I caught someone giving me a dirty look when I woke up, likely because I commandeered one of the best study spots here for my nap. I don’t feel guilty. If they wanted it, they should’ve gotten here earlier. You snooze, you lose, right?

I am stubbornly caffeine averse, and often sleep deprived. So, when Hypnos calls, I am usually eager to respond, no matter where I am. I’ve taken naps stretched across the floor of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. Curled in chairs and curved over those hexagon cubicle desks in Bass Library. Draped over tables and aloft upon four or five chairs pushed together in the Humanities Quadrangle. Sitting upright in the Davenport College dining hall and on a couch in the common room. In the Silliman College library and the Stacks. My friends have threatened me multiple times to make a photo album filled entirely with pictures of me napping. For better or worse, they have plenty of content to work with. 

— Keenan Miller

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The oddest thing about my naps is their timing — they happen between midnight and 3 a.m. out of necessity. 

They vary in length. Sometimes I fail to keep my naps short and wake up to my morning alarm in a panic. Sometimes I wake in my bed in the wee hours of the morning to my five-minute timer and finish my homework. Sometimes I wake up bleary-eyed and disoriented from my unplanned two hour nap in a classroom of the Humanities Quadrangle.

The most recent of these naps was just last week, when I woke at 2:30 a.m. to find that both my roommate and I had fallen asleep on couches in the Saybrook common room — we’re not in Saybrook.

The system works most of the time, but I can’t say it’s the most pleasant. My best nap at Yale so far was the one I took on a bench in the Morse College courtyard mid-afternoon. Midnight naps happen because they need to, but I really should start taking more daytime naps for the pure joy of it.

— Sofia Rabbani

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Ah, the nap. Even when I want to take a nap but the nap doesn’t want to take me, there’s always a certain sanctity in the attempt itself. Growing up, nap time was at first merely prescribed by teachers and parents, before quickly appropriated as a pastime of my own agency. Now, it’s one of those essential pillars of my personality. A nap is an elegant method of procrastination, an excuse for privacy, a psychologically gratifying “solution” for regular sleep deprivation and an intentional indulgence. Sleeping at night is a must, but napping during the day is a choice, and therefore all the more powerful. The nap is flexible, adaptable and always readily available, just the sort of relationship a Yalie will often seek. The nap you have on whatever day is what you make of it, with no further expectations. You have the option to fall deeply out of consciousness, or not. You can meditate for a few minutes, or knock out for a few hours. The possibilities are endless, and all have merit — the generosity of a nap just has no bounds.

— Laura Zeng

EDA AKER
Eda Aker is a first year in Timothy Dwight College.
ANDREW CRAMER
KEENAN MILLER
SOFIA RABBANI
KAYLA YUP
LAURA ZENG