The latest addition to college life? Not more bumper pool tables or a student activism center, but nap rooms.
What's a nap room? That would be an on-campus area where where sleepy pupils can lay down between classes or crash when their dorm rooms are far away.
The latest campus to cater to resters is the University of Virginia, where the student council surveyed coeds as to whether or not they would like to have a nap room. As student newspaper The Cavalier Daily reported, 95 percent of the 1,300 responses were in favor of a lay-down chamber. Ninety-one percent believed it would have a positive impact on their academics.
A few students were interviewed about what they hoped to see in the nap room. One said it would need to be quiet; another said it should be in a place that’s easily accessible between classes. Another said she worried about its cleanliness.
Although the student council says it hasn’t worked out the fine details yet, they can look to the examples set by other colleges that recently created nap rooms. In 2014, Wake Forest University unveiled a 24-hour “ZieSta Room” in the campus library, where students were encouraged to put away their electronics and nap in one of the room’s recliner chairs. James Madison University has a “Nap Nook” in the student center, where tomorrow’s brightest can reserve bean bag chairs for sleeping. Of course, each bag comes with antimicrobial pillows.
And kids at the University of Michigan can also sleep in MetroNaps Energy Pods at the school’s 24-hour Shapiro Library. These domed sleep pods, which each go for $13,000, according to Forbes, play relaxing music and adjust resters' bodies for an ideal nap position.
Are these rest rooms worth it? It sure seems expensive, especially at University of Michigan, for a population that is particularly adept at sleeping in unusual places around campus. Plus, you know, they have dorm rooms. However, 73 percent of college students suffer from sleep problems, according to research from Brown University. Additional research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine finds that college students with poor sleep earn worse grades than their well-rested peers. But whether nap rooms, or having students develop healthier sleep habits, would solve that problem, is up for debate.
Perhaps students who would benefit the most from nap rooms are those who don’t have a dorm room to crash in. That is, the commuters. And yet, all the above-mentioned schools with nap rooms aren’t really “commuter schools.” According to College Board, 100 percent of freshmen at Wake Forest University and University of Virginia live on campus, while 97 percent do at the University of Michigan, and 93 percent do at James Madison University.
To our ears, these naps rooms sound like glorified student centers, albeit ones with more comfortable sitting areas. Regardless, maybe students should consider familiarizing themselves with their dorm rooms a bit more, or conk out on the quad after a session of ultimate frisbee like everyone else. There are a lot of big, important debates taking place at higher learning institutes across the country. Let’s not make this one of them.