Nap pods will soon be installed in UC Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library with the goal of providing rest to exhausted students.
The nap pods — spherical chairs with an overhead visor — are designed to give people a comfortable resting place to take a quick nap, according to the MetroNaps website. Each pod comes equipped with a timer interface that can be set to any time or to the default of 20 minutes, along with a speaker to block out noise and ensure a gentle awakening.
These specific types of pods are used in various institutions around the country, including universities and Silicon Valley companies like Google, according to the MetroNaps website. Four nap pods were also installed in UC Berkeley’s Moffitt Library in 2016.
The library will receive two nap pods as part of a Health & Wellness Program sleep initiative, according to Sharleen O’Brien, director of Health & Wellness.
“The sleep initiative is designed to help students become more aware of the sleep that they need and how much sleep that they’re getting,” O’Brien said.
“Because we know students are balancing long work hours, long hours studying and in class, as well as work and social activities, we wanted to make sure there was enough information on campus about sleep for students, enough opportunities to catch up on sleep if they need that, as well as to help students understand that sufficient sleep positively impacts their memory, mood, and performance.”
The pods are expected to be located in front of the Transfer Student Center on the first floor of Davidson Library; it is estimated they will be installed and ready for use by Fall Quarter 2019.
Each nap pod comes at an approximated cost of $12,000, funded by the Health & Wellness Program.
O’Brien said she first began discussion with the library about the pods in Fall Quarter 2018. She believes the pods are a great way to allow students to take recommended 20-minute naps and to advance the sleep initiative’s goals.
The Health & Wellness Program is also addressing sleep health through pop-up nap stations around campus, which allow students to take naps on inflatable beds, and the Gaucho Sleep Challenge, which gives students information about sleep each day and encourages monitoring sleep hours, according to O’Brien.
The nap pods are not the first addition to the library for student rest; they follow the egg chairs that were installed in the library in December 2016, which are located on the first floor of Ocean Side in Davidson Library.
“[The egg chairs] provide a space for students to just take a 10-minute break and chill in the middle of their busy day. But because it’s an egg chair, it’s not obviously a place to sleep. The nap pods, while they’re very fancy-looking… are very specifically a place to sleep,” O’Brien said.
“I hope over time that students will start to really experience that the campus is supporting their needs, that students will more often be willing to take a nap if they need one in a safe environment and that it will help them with their academics.”