With universities around the world helping students nap, a news report from The Guardian discusses the benefits of naps and the impact of sleep deprivation on students.
The installation of a sleeping pod in the University of Manchester library follows hard on the heels of the University of East Anglia’s sleep room, and no doubt heralds a new era of beanbags, futons, and chaises longue (Russell Group only) popping up on campuses across the UK. But does this mean we are finally taking care of our students’ sleep, or is it an indication that students are now so chronically sleep deprived that universities are having to provide for those who cannot get through the day without forty winks?
The cognitive benefits of a nap are well documented, most notably in Sara Mednick’s popular book Take a Nap! Change Your Life. We know that as little as six minutes sleep can not only sharpen thinking, but improve memory, mood and mental flexibility. Leonardo da Vinci famously lived on 20-minute naps for weeks at a time while oil painting to avoid the paint drying. Based on this evidence, fashionably progressive companies such as Google and Ben & Jerrys have installed sleeping pods or created sleeping spaces in the workplace.