University Tests School Nap Pods to Reduce Stress

A study from New Mexico State University found that 20-minute naps at school can have benefits for high schoolers and college students.

LAS CRUCES, NM - Between studying, work and clinicals, Sabrina Romero is busy becoming a nurse. But Romero has struggled with anxiety over the last year because of an increased workload and the death of her sister.

“And with figuring out how to control my anxiety related to what happened with my life and also with school. The sleep pod helped me a lot to relax myself,” Romero said.

Romero says taking 20-minute naps in the EnergyPod has decreased her anxiety and increased her test scores.

“The sleep pod helped me to calm down and focus on the questions and what it’s asking me and do my best,” Romero said.

Participants get in the EnergyPod and close the barrier. For 20 minutes, they sleep to relaxing music and mellow lighting.

When the cycle is over, they are woken up by vibrations and louder, more intense music.

“These teens are coming to school exhausted. They’re falling asleep in school, they’re falling asleep in gym, they’re becoming obese, they’re not exercising. So, here, if they can [spend] 20 minutes in a nap to rejuvenate, it’s better than nothing.”

“After participants used the EnergyPod, researchers found that there was a big difference in high schooler’s mood, but not a big difference in their vital signs. But preliminary findings show there is a big difference in college student’s vital signs.”

“Those are objective findings. It’s really hard to fake a pulse or fake respiration, so that was very significant for us.”

Nurses believe if nothing else, the nap is a 20-minute disconnect from electronics.

Participants slept for 20 minutes to get refreshed, but any longer can put them in a deep sleep and lead to grogginess and more fatigue.

The university says their program is also gaining attention from schools all around the country.

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