College students are notorious for pulling all-nighters when big papers are due or finals are on the horizon, but sacrificing sleep has consequences. In fact, not getting enough shuteye may take as much of a toll on an undergraduate’s academic performance as drinking too much. So a growing number of colleges are reaching out a hand—in the form of special napping facilities—to help underslept students.
A nap will never totally replace a good night’s sleep, but it can be a lifeline to students who are camped out at the library while they study, or to those who commute to their classes and don’t have time to go home in between them. Snoozing for about 20 minutes is ideal for a quick energy boost, and logging a full 90 minutes allows time for Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (during which the brain will help a student remember what he or she has studied).Here’s a sampling of the nap facilities that are popping up at colleges and universities around the country.
Launched in the fall of 2014, the “ZieSta Room” at the Wake Forest University’s Z. Smith Reynolds Library is designed as a technology-free space with recliners for relaxing and napping.
A senior psychology major was the brains behind James Madison University’s “Nap Nook” which has been hosting student naps since 2013 on bean bag chairs that are outfitted with antimicrobial pillows.
Vinyl cots and pillows with disposable pillowcases set the stage for a sanitary sleep environment at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus. Open 24/7, the nap room features cots that are “first come, first served,” but limits nappers to 30 minutes so nobody can hog a cot for hours.
High-tech EnergyPods, special chairs that are designed for napping are available at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong. But the chairs (which are also used at nap-friendly companies) come with a high price tag of at least $10,000, depending on features. Features may include elevating the legs, a privacy dome, and timer settings with music and vibrations. Texas A&M University’s Corpus Christi campus features a more affordable sleep pod that costs less than half as much and is a simple, white tube with a mattress inside.