The stereotype of students sleeping in has long done the rounds, whether it’s a result of pulling an all-nighter before a deadline or slightly less studious activities. No matter the reason, sleep deprivation is a big issue for university students with over 60% reporting poor sleep quality.

While yawning students might be a distraction for lecturers, it’s the students who really feel the effects. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to focus, weakens immune systems, affects overall mood and make decision-making difficult. Over a long period, chronic sleep debt may even lead to depression and anxiety and in an academic setting, it manifests as an “increased risk of academic failure and compromise learning”, according to a Nature and Science study.

With the lack of sleep so endemic amongst students and the effects so significant, what if, rather than scolding students for being late or losing focus, universities provided a solution?

Enter: sleep pods. Already adopted by universities everywhere from Manchester to Miami, the futuristic looking pods allow students to shut out the world and settle down for a 20-minute nap (also known as a stage 2 nap). Why 20 minutes? It’s the ideal length of time for a snooze which boosts alertness and motor skills, perfect for flagging students.

Read our piece on the The Third Space here.

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