At a recent meeting of Union Council, councillors agreed to endorse Postgraduate Education Officer, Liam McCafferty’s, proposal to have sleeping rooms available for students in Union House.
Whilst space for the rooms has yet to be located, the union is aiming to create around five ‘nap stations’ for a trial, which would ideally commence in January.
The concept of sleeping rooms for students is not a new one. At the James Madison University in Virginia, US, a ‘Nap Nook’ project was created by a psychology major, Caroline Cooke, when she perceived that sleep was a vital component of success at university.
She theorised that if universities had places for sleep deprived students, or students working all nighters on campus, it could positively impact upon their studies. At the JMU, students are encouraged to book their sleep-sized beanbag in advance, but are also welcome to turn up whenever a nap becomes necessary.
Since Cooke’s research determined that 30 minutes is an ideal nap time, and another ten minutes is sufficient to get comfortable, the beanbag’s can be used for up to a capped time limit of forty minutes. The Union of UEA Students is planning to use the success of the ‘Nap Nook’ project as a blueprint for their own trial.
Liam McCafferty has expressed gratitude towards the union for backing his motion for sleeping rooms, which would make UEA the first university in the UK to have such facilities. He said: “We need to stop viewing napping as a novelty and start recognising it as an important option for managing health and wellbeing”.
McCafferty also encouraged anyone with views on how the sleeping rooms might work to get in touch, at firstname.lastname@example.org