Some colleges and universities are offering the gift of sleep to bleary-eyed students who need to catch up on some Zzzzs after pulling an all-nighter. “Nap rooms” and “napping stations” have popped up on campuses across the country, providing students a respite from the stress and rigors of coursework (and, perhaps, partying).
The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, has been offering students a space to rest or nap for three years — initially with a pop-up tent in the courtyard, then starting last year with a campus “Nap Room” during midterms and finals weeks.
"The response from throughout the community has been positive. A recent survey of students showed that 70 percent of respondents ranked the nap room as a high priority for their well-being,” Art Center spokesperson Teri Bond told NBC News. (Perhaps the other 30 percent were asleep?)
Throughout the year, the Art Center offers other “stress-busting opportunities,” including dog therapy, chair massages and yoga, Bond said.
Matt Stamey / The Gainesville Sun via AP file
A student naps in a hammock between two trees outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the campus of the University of Florida on Nov. 14, 2013, in Gainesville, Fla.
The University of Michigan’s undergraduate library launched a pilot “napping station” earlier this year, and James Madison University opened a “Nap Nook” in the fall of 2013.
At JMU, students can reserve a bean bag for up to 40 minutes at the Nap Nook, located in the Festival Conference & Student Center. The Nook has gotten so popular that university officials will be adding more bean bags for the upcoming fall semester.
“We had 2,500-plus naps recorded at the center in its first year,” said Caroline Cook, research director at JMU’s Sleep and Actigraphy Lab. Cook launched the Nap Nook as a senior psychology major at JMU.
Elsewhere, Harvard has discussed a student petition to establish an on-campus nap room while other schools, Including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California Davis, and Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, have created Google-like “nap maps” that pinpoint the best locations on campus to catch a power nap.
Not all nap rooms get the nod of approval. The University of Colorado Boulder had a "Siesta Room" from 2009 to 2011 but discontinued it after lighter-than-expected student use. "Getting proper sleep is certainly an important part of good health and academic success," university spokesperson Malinda Miller-Huey said. "But we found that students preferred to take naps in their own bed nearby in their residence halls or off-campus housing."
MORE BACK TO SCHOOL
— James Eng, NBC News
First published August 11 2014, 11:39 AM