Sleepy students aren't dreaming – nap pods are a reality on at least one Canadian campus.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is now home to a couple of nap pods. While the pilot project officially kicks off this fall, students who have already tested them out say they're "pretty cool."
"We have students who are often sleeping at their desks or sofas or couches," BCIT Library Services Director James Rout told CTV Vancouver.
Instead of creating makeshift beds around campus, students will have futuristic sleeping pods designed just for them. There are currently two pods located at the centre of the Burnaby campus library between the security desk and computers.
The white, cylindrical pods are made from plastic and acrylic components, with a gym mat inside. Once the booking system is set up, Rout said students will be able to use an app to schedule a 30 to 60 minute "power nap."
The nap pods may seem like something from the sci-fi realm, but they're commonplace in the startup sector. Organizations such as Facebook and Google have integrated nap pods into their office spaces. Other major companies have recognized the need for employees to mentally recharge. Nestle, the Huffington Post and Vancouver startup Hootsuite all have staff nap rooms.
Corporate nap pods, replete with soothing music and other features, can cost upwards of $10,000. BCIT's models come in at $2,000 apiece and will be funded by vending machine sales.
There could be more nap pods in the future, if the popularity of the nap room is any indication. BCIT has been a pioneer in student sleep and converted its racquetball court into a nap room in January. The room still exists and has 10 beds in the building next door to the library. The library nap pods are designed to offer an even more convenient option for a quick nap while studying.
"Our students are busy, they're working hard and research is very clear that rest and napping and sleep is very important to retention, memory and learning," said Rout.
Studies show short naps can boost your memory and creativity. In one Harvard study, college students were asked to memorize pairs and complete puzzles. Half of the group took a 45-minute nap and, when retested, nappers who did well in the first round saw a performance boost.
News of the sleeping pods has spread quickly across the BCIT campus. A video unveiling the pods has been shared more than 1,500 times.
The first comment was about how students might try to have sex in the pods, a common remark that comes up in the thread.
BCIT stresses these are solo sleepers. The pods are located next to a security desk and are not sound-proof.
"We trust our students, we really have no concerns about that," said Rout.
There is a no tolerance policy for sexual conduct, inappropriate behaviour and cuddling.
With a report from CTV Vancouver