It is no secret that lack of sleep is a huge issue on campus. Most students get only about six hours of sleep a night if they are lucky. Adults require anywhere from six to ten hours of sleep a night, but students simply do not feel they have the time due to their studies and activities. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased immune systems, stress, weight gain, lower GPA or academic performance, increased mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, automobile accidents related to “Drowsy Driving” and decreased performance in sport related activities. Lots of students pull all-nighters to get their work done, but then feel like they were hit by a train the next day. So what can be done about it?
The University of Michigan implemented a napping station in the fall in the hope that it would improve student health and academic performance. It included six cots and pillows for students to have access to the week before finals. Located in the library, it is available 24/7 with a 30-minute snooze limit. The project was implemented by Adrian Bazbaz, who is an engineering major at Michigan University. He mentioned that students would sometimes fall asleep in front of library computers or just put their backpacks on tables and sleep on top of them.
Fancy napping pods have also been tested and are specifically designed for sleep. Some of you may have heard of them due to their use at Google. They are pretty costly at about $10,000 a pod, but there are other means of setting up nap stations that I am sure would not break the bank. Our library already contains some comfy bean-bag chairs, so if we added some of the couch bean bags in various rooms all throughout campus, it may help students to get that little nap they need between classes without being tempted to go back to their dorm and procrastinate.
I think that having some extra places to nap would be a great way to let students get the sleep they need while also increasing their academic performance. Many of the details would have to be left up to the university, of course, as far as picking the best materials that could be easily washed, and where the napping stations would be most appropriate. I can personally say that having a nap room in the Breidenstine would be extremely beneficial to those of us who stay late to work on projects in the labs and studios.