UC Riverside promotes a sleep/nap campaign for students during Sleep Awareness Week

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Nap time.

Throughout UC Riverside this week, the focus is on sleeping and napping. No, it’s not spring break — it's all part of National Sleep Awareness Week.

More than 60 percent of all college students are said to be sleep deprived. That's bad news, because a solid snooze is essential to emotional well-being, health and learning.

"When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to eat fatty foods," says Sara Mednick, UC Riverside psychology professor and author of the book "Take a Nap! Change Your Life." "You’re more likely to gain weight, you’re more likely to do poorly on your tests.”

Mednick says students in particular tend to sleep less when they’re stressed out.

"Even though sleep is the first thing you're going to let go of, it’s the first thing that can help you do better," according to Mednick.

Students interested in catching some Z's can pick up a free nap kit on campus, complete with eye mask, earplugs and a how-to sheet on napping.

And on Friday, students are invited to a campus-wide nap time. Special napping spaces will be set up at three campus locations.

This story has been updated.

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