The American Academy of Sleep recommends college students get at least seven to eight hours of rest a night.
Packed class schedules and extracurricular activities, however, don’t always make that goal practical. A new space at Emporia State University is hoping to remedy the problem.
During an official unveiling Monday at the William Allen White Library, ESU joined the University of Arizona as the only institutions in the nation to offer students on-campus “nap pods.”
“There’s a survey that’s done nationally called the National College Health Assessment, and students both at ESU and across the country consistently identify sleep difficulties as one of the top five reasons that they may not do their best academically,” Director of Student Health Services Mary McDaniel-Anschutz said. “We hope spaces like these will give students the opportunity to catch a safe power nap. On just about any given day, you can walk through campus and see a student taking a snooze somewhere. You kind of leave yourself vulnerable when you do that. This is just a really cool way to feel safe, which can help lead to a deeper sleep.”
Designed by San Diego-based HOHM Inc., the 43.5 square foot, bedroom-like pod features a twin-sized bed, a sound-blocking curtain and charging stations for cell phones and laptops. Students can schedule reservations — ranging from 30 minutes to four hours — online at www.hohm.life or through the HOHM app every day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on a first-come-first-serve basis. Student staff will be on sight during regular hours to ensure smooth check-in and check-out, functioning alarms, single occupancy and clean rooms by changing sheets after each use.
“We got emails from [HOHM] and did a little research before reaching out to ask what this all entailed,” Director of the Memorial Union Carmen Leeds said. “Through several conference calls, we realized that this is completely free to Emporia State. HOHM is really trying to get on campuses and get their name out to see how it all works. There’s absolutely no cost as of now … going into the second year, I’m not sure what it will look like, but we don’t intend on paying anything. We hope they continue to have sponsors so the cost will be free.”
“We like the idea of being cutting-edge,” added Jim Williams, Vice President of Student Affairs. “We like the idea of trying out new things, and the fact that HOHM provided the pod to us was something that we thought made some sense. It meets some needs that we have on campus and it’s a great opportunity to try it out.”
Starting out, each Hornet will be granted two free hours of pod time per month, and although only one pod was showcased Monday, another is planned to be installed in the Memorial Union sometime in October.
“Our first installation with the University of Arizona was a wild success, with nearly 250 bookings in the first 10 weeks,” Founder and CEO of HOHM Nikolas Woods said “It’s clear that students need a safe, comfortable and convenient way to get rest on campus. We can’t wait to see the reaction from Emporia State University.
“At our first launch, we had students coming up to thank us because they were having to find weird places to sleep in the student union. One girl in particular dealt with fibromyalgia, so she was always in pain on campus. She said the pods were a great place for her to go to recharge. Even the union director was using it as a place to meditate every other week … We we’re amazed with how fast Emporia State reached out on this. We talked to a lot of other schools, but this was probably the quickest response from the staff here ... We think this is going to be something that’s great for students not only this year, but the next 10 years.”