Students Now Getting ‘Nap Clubs’ In Schools

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Schools around the nation are creating “nap clubs,” nap pods, and sleep contracts aimed at students who aren’t getting enough sleep.

UC Berkeley hosts REST zones with lounge chairs and James Madison University offers beanbags for 40-minute segments in its “Nap Nook.”

The MetroNap EnergyPod – priced at $8,000-13,000 – at other universities reclines, plays music, vibrates, and boasts a “privacy visor” that can help students sleep in otherwise busy environments. These pods are featured at schools like Stanford and the University of Miami.

A government grant allowed Las Cruces High School in New Mexico to obtain RestWorks EnergyPods, which cost $10,000 each.

“It was really dark, really isolating. It canceled out a lot of the noise,” said Selema Graham, a student who has taken naps in the pod after feeling stressed.

Sandy Peugh, Las Cruces’s director of health services, wants more EnergyPods for the district, which currently has four of the machines. The nap pods are used by both students and faculty.

“It’s like a therapeutic study hall,” said Janet Ferone, an education consultant and administrator, said. Ferone founded a program at the Boston Community Leadership Academy that gives certain high schoolers one class period a day for destressing and relaxation. A school nurse and social workers with the program educate them on productive sleep schedules. Some students sign sleep contracts, in which they consent to stop using phones and shut off lights at a specific time.

“A lot of our kids are falling asleep in their academic classes, so we needed to make a plan for them to stay awake and meet their goals,” said Ms. Ferone.

“With technology and the demands placed on high schoolers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average nightly sleep goes down to five hours from a recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours,” said Raj Dasgupta, a clinical medicine assistant professor at the University of Southern California and fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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