Chris Weber, '15, takes a 20 minute nap in Lehigh's new pod beds in Taylor Gym. These newly rented Metronap energy pods were rented to help with students' stress levels and well-being. (Molly Brooks/B&W photo)

Rented pod beds provide ‘portable rest facilities’ for students

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Through a pilot program with Metronaps, a company providing portable rest facilities, Lehigh has rented two nap energy pods in order to help students get quick rest during the school day.

With studies saying that only one-third of students are getting enough sleep to feel rested once or twice a week, David Joseph, the executive director of Auxiliary Services, decided to join in the fight against mid-day drowsiness.

Joseph said if the rentals “are successful, we’ll look to purchase (nap energy pods) for the future.”

Lehigh placed the two sleep pods in Taylor Gym. One is located in the Hall of Fame loft and the other is located on the second floor in the south hallway next to the men’s and women’s locker rooms.

These sleep pods are currently available for all students, faculty and staff looking “to get a quick nap.” They are free to operate and can use either the quick sleep function and get a preset 20 minute nap, or set your own amount of time.

With the simple idea in mind to “fight workplace fatigue,” according to the Metronaps website, the energy sleep pods were invented in order to give people at work a place where they can nap during the day.

Metronaps Energy Sleep Pods have since been placed in various offices, universities, fitness centers and hospitals across the country.

The sleep pods are permanently fixed in a reclined position with the legs elevated slightly. Users can set an ambient light in different shades and the pods can also play relaxing sounds such as birds tweeting and ocean waves.

Along with most other universities and colleges, Lehigh students statistically do not get enough sleep at night.

“We sleep to survive,” said Peter Costa, the director of the Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies Office. “Sleep is a physiological need.”

Costa said studies indicate that, “9 out of 10 students report feeling sleepy during daytime activities.” With this many students feeling tired throughout the day, having a place to sleep at any point during the school day or even after can be very beneficial, Costa said.

“If I hear something that might help me focus more or make me healthier or help my workouts I’ll try it,” said Max Anderson, ’15, a former football player. “I mean why not try it?”

Since their installation in Taylor Gym, not many students have had the chance to try these new sleep pods.

Joseph first tested the model when it was installed.

“I got in there and I literally fell asleep on a Friday afternoon,” he said.

He said he plans on testing these sleep pods in various different locations, but due to space issues, Taylor Gym was the only location that could take two sleep pods at this time.

Joseph said he is also looking at places such as the libraries and the University Center to test the effectiveness of these pods to their full potential.

Lehigh has a program in place called Sleep for Success which is designed to help students learn more about how to sleep better and how to manage their sleep schedules.

Through the combined efforts of the Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies Office and the Student Affairs Office, Lehigh is “trying to create healthier lifestyles for (their) students faculty and staff,” Joseph said.

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