Sleep is what every university student always seems to need more of. Although students may want more sleep, work and studying take precedence for the majority of university students.
You may have seen the white, bed — shaped structures around campus, located in the Skybar Lounge and James A. Gibson Library, known as “sleeping pods”.
Sleeping pods first came to Brock in 2016, offered by the Brock University Students’ Union to students. These were introduced on campus to allow students to catch up on their sleep and rest in between classes.
Jenn Lea, a third-year student in Women and Gender studies, thinks that the sleeping pods are very beneficial. As students, it can be hard to get consistent sleep every night, which means that it may be hard to focus in class the next day.
“I know that a good night’s sleep is important for our overall health, but students know, maybe better than anyone, that that usually isn’t possible and we need to get it when we can,” said Lea.
There are six pods located on campus, in the library and the Skybar lounge as well as two located at other Brock locations, including the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts campus downtown and the Hamilton campus.
The pods are offered on a first come first serve basis to faculty, staff and students, so booking in advance is neither required nor possible.
Students have voiced their opinions on the pods, saying that they are a great resource to have on campus in order to catch up on sleep and take a rest during the day but they also have some concerns about them.
Lea and other students that she has spoken to raise some concerns about the sleeping pods.
“Their placement is a little weird and myself and others wish they were a little more isolated, the library pod in particular. It feels vulnerable to nap in a room full of people,” said Lea. “Also, the pods are small which is an accessibility issue, so an accessible napping option for those who can’t use them is important.”
Understanding all aspects of sleep is a priority for Brock Psychology professor and Director in the Sleep Research Laboratory, Dr. Kimberly Cote, who believes that napping is very beneficial to not only students but everyone.
“For healthy, good sleepers, napping is great for your alertness, job/school performance, and long-term health. An ideal nap is only 20 minutes. If you nap longer, you risk getting into a deep sleep; and when you awaken you can feel groggy and your performance will actually be impaired for a period of time,” said Cote. “An ideal time of day to take a nap is usually between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., when your circadian rhythms are at a daytime nadir making you feel sleepy.”
In the sleep research laboratory, Cote is running two research studies and is in need of volunteers to participate. One study is for healthy sleepers, which investigates how hormones and sleep affect your way of seeing emotional information and facial expressions.
The second study is for poor sleepers. Participants in both studies are monitored from home while sleeping and are asked to visit the sleep lab for one day for the brain waves to be recorded and to have your performance monitored.
If you are interested in learning more about sleep, call the sleep laboratory at 905-688-5550 ext. 4806 to be interviewed for eligibility to participate. For more information, you can also check out the Brock University Sleep Research Laboratory Facebook page.