One of the most prominent insights revealed by our interviews with you in October was an overwhelming desire for spaces in the library that encourage relaxation and foster mindfulness. Many interesting ideas were put forward including,
- Mindfulness or Wellness zones
- Flexible space for yoga and Thai Chi
- Comfortable area to watch YouTube and listen to music.
- Places to meet and play board games such as chess
- A Zen Garden
- Sensory rooms
All of these ideas were suggested multiple times. However, the request that recurred most frequently was for sleep pods. This makes a lot of sense, power naps help you to reset your system making you more alert and giving you a burst of energy. A study by the University of Düsseldorf has shown that even very short naps enhance memory processing, while a Nasa study, looking at their effects on pilots on long flights, reported that naps maintain or improve performance, physiological and subjective alertness, and mood. According to WebMD, even a 20-minute nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills while longer periods such as 30 minutes can help boost memory and enhance creativity. They go on to add that nodding off is even better for your productivity than a cup of coffee as caffeine can decrease memory performance. “So you may feel more wired, but you are also prone to making more mistakes.”
Google is well known for their innovative offices and has been using nap pods like the ones below for several years (the models shown in the picture below are actually from California State University’s Wellness Centre). They are fairly big, and we suspect they would be expensive, but you don’t need lots of space or expensive equipment to create a pro-napping environment. All you need is a comfortable place where you can shut out the light. One of our favourite products in recent years is the Ostrich Pillow (below) which is tailor-made for quick post-lunch naps – Now imagine you could have your own Ostrich Pillow stored at the library ready for use!
We would love to hear more of your ideas for relaxing pro-napping spaces. Leave your comments here or tweet your thoughts to @warwicklibscape