Credit: Creative Commons - Edinburgh University's Old College Quad Credit: Creative Commons - Edinburgh University's Old College Quad
Wallis Spence

The Buchanan Institute, a student thinktank at the University of Edinburgh has petitioned to install four "nap pods" at the University. The petition also called for an increase in comfort in places deemed as high stress areas on campus.

Students recently voted in favour of installing the pods in an effort to beat sleep deprivation.

53% of the student council members and 84% of the larger student body voted in favour of the proposal.

The Buchanan Institute commissioned a thirty page report stressing the benefits that nap pods would bring to students. The study contained figures showing that student satisfaction at Edinburgh University is currently ranked at 120th in the UK according to the 2017 Complete University Guide. The Institute propose that to improve this statistic, student welfare must be tackled. They and argue nap pods are the first step in combating sleep deprivation, hence enhancing student satisfaction.

The Buchanan Institute stated: “While nap pods will not necessarily solve chronic issues of sleep deprivation, our mission is to work with the university and the Students’ Association to introduce nap pods for the benefit of general wellbeing, happiness, academic performance and productivity of students.”

The nap pods are similar to those used by Google, costing £10,000 per pod. The group conducted a survey of 1500 students of the university regarding their thoughts on this idea. Whilst 93% of students agreed they did require a nap whilst on campus, several worries arose regarding hygiene, cost efficiency and time slots. Some worried that if this amount of money had to be spent on sleep deprivation to combat the difficulties of education, then it should be the basis of this education that is initially tackled. One student commented that the idea was an “unnecessary and unhelpful novelty.”

On whether to introduce the pods at Glasgow University, SRC President Ameer Ibrahim stated: "This initiative appears to be one that goes some way to counter the issue of sleep deprivation by facilitating accessible locations within University buildings to provide a suitable environment for sleep.

“Regarding the financial implications and whether this could be recognised as a potential initiative in the future for Glasgow, this would require scoping to outline the benefits against alternative initiatives that require financial resource.

"Recent initiatives to promote Exam De-Stress and Quiet Spaces on Campus will go some way to alleviate pressures and support students through peak times of stress around exams. Further work and initiatives in the future to specifically focus on sleep should be explored further."

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