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Friday, March 18, 2016

Napping Is the Next Big Thing on Campus

Colleges and universities have put up rock-climbing walls and state-of-the-art recreation centers to attract and retain students for years. Now, some are starting to promote napping.

Students at some major universities across the country can reserve space in specially designated nap zones that prioritize sleep. There’s even a high-tech option called an EnergyPod that vibrates, plays music, and has a helmetlike visor to help students nod off while others in the area are busy working on assignments and talking to friends.

“It’s fair to say that students are more stressed and anxious than ever before because of uncertainty about their futures and high expectations set for them by friends and family,” Ishtpreet Singh, vice president of the University of Miami student government, said in a report in USA Today. “Even 20 minutes [of sleep] can provide additional stamina.”

The student government at the Coral Gables, FL, institution pushed for the pods in an effort to improve mental health on campus. The university responded by placing napping stations in the Shalala Student Center and the Whitten University Center, adding a massage chair near the pod in the Whitten building.

“We worked with student government leaders, who presented a compelling case to purchase the nap pods for our student center complex,” said Pat Whitley, vice president for student affairs at Miami. “Research shows that having the ability to take a nap can enhance well-being, have a positive impact on mental health, and can help boost academic performance. Our students, especially those who commute, will be able to take advantage of these safe and private rest stations, which provide an opportunity for a quick, 20-minute nap.”

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