Napping in a New Sleeping Pod at My University

Guest Post by Freek Roes, a student studying business economics at Radboud University in the Netherlands and a person living with narcolepsy. 

Recently my university acquired a Metronaps sleeping pod, which seems like a very expensive, unnecessarily complicated bed. It’s meant for students to take a nap during the day to recharge. But it can feel kind of weird to go to sleep in a public place, which is probably why it remained untouched for the first couple of weeks, but slowly people started using it more and more. Sometimes you will even have to wait to take a nap as someone else is using it. As someone with narcolepsy, I had to try out this sleeping pod.

When you get into the pod, you can move the white screen in front of you to isolate yourself from the room and to block some of the light. Next you put your feet on the same level as your heart, set a time for your nap and then set your music or vibration preferences, this can all be done with buttons. Then, you put on the headphones and you can start the nap.

The headphones were noise cancelling in this case so it was relatively quiet, but I could still hear people walking on the stairs nearby. I heard some instructions and then there was only relaxing music. It should be quite relaxing, but the first time it was hard to be completely relaxed knowing I was napping in public, even though I’ve done it before in the past.

But the second time I used it, I did fall asleep but the light and the louder music that serves as the “alarm clock” didn’t fully wake me up. When I did finally wake up, it was still dark inside the pod, so I just lied there waiting until the alarm would go off, but obviously it didn’t because it had already gone off so after a while I got up. Turns out, I lay there for roughly an hour and I missed the beginning of my lecture, even though I only planned to take a quick power-nap. Maybe the next time I will set my own alarm as well to make sure I wake up.

In the end it’s great you have some sort of private place to nap when there is no small bedroom available. It has its flaws but if you’re very tired, you have a place to recharge.

– Freek Roes

Note from Project Sleep: Thank you to Freek for sharing your experience! Project Sleep is fascinated by the logistics of naps and creating space for rest in our 24/7 “sleep when you die” culture. We want to hear from you! Write a review of a napping space in your community and send it to – we may feature your story on our blog! 

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