Emporia State installs sleeping pods so students can nap

Photos Courtesy: Emporia State University

EMPORIA, Kan. — Exhausted Emporia State students who are currently sleeping on chairs and tables across campus will have a chance to stretch out in private, secure sleeping pods.

The university has installed one sleeping pod in the library and plans to install another next month at Memorial Union. The pods are 43.5 square feet, slightly wider than a twin bed, with a nightstand and a charging station. Curtains and window blinds provide privacy, The Kansas City Star reported.

“We know that our students, on any campus really, are already napping,” said university spokeswoman Gwen Larson. “You can walk through a campus and see students with their head down on a table or curled up in a comfy chair taking a nap. These sleep pods just give them a safe place to get a really good snooze.”

The pods are designed by San Diego-based HOHM for students, faculty and staff. The company provided the sleeping pods at no cost to the university. Students hired by the company will be stationed near the pods to check people in and out and ensure only one person is using a pod at a time. They also clean rooms and change sheets after each use, Larson said.

At least 50% of college students exhibit daytime sleepiness, according to Stanford University’s Center for Undiagnosed Diseases. And the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says a lack of sleep can hurt a student’s grades.

“We know that good sleep plays a vital role in overall health and well-being,” said Jim Williams, vice president of student affairs. “These sleeping pods can help our students reap the benefits of being rested.”

Other schools, including the University of Miami, Wesleyan University, Stanford University and Washington State University, have installed sleeping tubes, which look more like a lounging couch with a privacy hood. Emporia’s sleeping pods offer more privacy.

Students can book time online for the pods on a first-come, first-served basis, with naps between 30 minutes and four hours. Pods are only available between 3 and 8 p.m. each day. Students can have two hours of free nap time a month, with additional time costing $10 an hour.

“It’s not like a vending machine that’s available for use any time of the day or night,” Larson said.

So far, Larson said students aren’t rushing to use the pods but Larson said that could change when students start pulling all-nighters while studying for midterm exams.

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