I don’t know about you, but I love sleep. A lot. But being a college student is right up there with meth addict in the “Sleepless in [Insert City Here]” category, and our rooms aren’t nearly as clean. Between cramming for your seven midterms and hammering out that last-minute dissertation on Soccer in Latin America that you totally should have started earlier, it can be difficult to stay on top of your sleep schedule, or even have energy in the moment to push through the early AM to finish your work. In the interest of our collective health and ability to fix our procrastination-induced messes, I think our glorious University would do well to implement the sort of nap-friendly environments that have sprung up in campuses across the country in our own libraries and… whatever Rettner is.
Recently, a Time article was published on the topic of college napping, or more accurately, the recent trend of universities providing their students with localized short-term sleeping arrangements within their libraries and other study spaces. The arrangements depicted in said article range from rows of cots at The Michigan College That Isn’t MSU (Go Spartans!), to futuristic pods that will gently oscillate you to sleep – with accompanying music – which are found at numerous institutions. Now, again, I don’t know about you, but having a machine, or even an area, available on campus for the express purpose of providing people with rest sounds awesome. The couches upstairs in Rush Rhees are nice, but, there’re only two, and they don’t provide you with privacy, or freaking rock you to sleep with music.
It may sound like making it easier to sleep in a library is unnecessary, or even counterintuitive, but there are legitimate health benefits. The expert quoted in the Time article, author Sara Mednick, is a big supporter of naps, explaining that “‘90 minutes affords you all of the different sleep stages shown to be important for cognition, memorization, creativity, basic motor skills and the ability to make decisions in a clever way.’” That’s a lot of very useful, very beneficial stuff. But you don’t need to be a hardcore napper to see the benefits of these setups. As Ryan DeAngelis, a senior studying neuroscience at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, explained to Time, students who need a little rest break during late-night studying can just drop into/onto a pod/cot, without heading back to their rooms and risking the temptation of their own soft, beautiful beds. “‘It forces you to stay there,’” he said. “‘You’re going to wake up in 20 minutes and keep working, but if you go back to the dorm, you’re tempted to fall asleep and then maybe procrastinate ‘til the morning.’”
All in all, I think this sort of thing would be an incredible addition to our campus, and would be a great sign that the University genuinely cares about the health and wellbeing of its students. And hey, while they’re at it, they could add that smoothie bar. Do you guys remember that? Maybe someday. Haha… aww.
Aho is a member of
the class of 2017.