SINGAPORE - Weary students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) can now catch up on their sleep in a new rest pod in the school's library.
Announcing this on its Facebook page on Monday (Sept 10), the university said: "Take a snooze: Other than hitting the books at the NTU Library, you can now catch forty winks too at this new rest pod at the #NTUsg Lee Wee Nam Library."
Students must first book the rest pod in order to use it. Bookings can be made through the NTU library's facilities booking system, which is accessible only while on the school's Wi-Fi network.
Rest sessions are capped at a maximum of 30 minutes per session, according to a webpage addressing frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the one pod in the library.
The FAQ section explains that this is because, while a 10 to 20 minute-long nap is sufficient to provide users with a "dose of alertness", a nap lasting longer than 30 minutes results in "sleep inertia", which can slow down users' reflexes and cloud their minds.
Aside from plain water, eating and drinking are strictly prohibited in the pod to ensure it is clean. Shoes are also not allowed in the pod.
The pod automatically locks once its shutter is closed, and users are expected to keep their belongings with them inside the pod.
Couples looking to get cosy may be disappointed - the FAQ section states that not more than one person is allowed inside the pod. Those who do not follow this rule and are caught will be dealt with severely by the school administration.
Students will not be able to catch an overnight snooze either, as the pod operates only during the library's opening hours.
NTU is not the only school in Singapore which has considered installing rest pods on its campus.
Singapore Management University announced in 2016 that it intended to include sleeping pods in its new building, which is set to open in Stamford Road at the end of 2019.
The pods were intended to allow students to work overnight on projects at the campus, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Experts, however, have cautioned against using sleep pods and nap rooms as a replacement for quality night-time sleep.
Professor Michael Chee, director of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke-NUS Medical School, said in a Straits Times report on Saturday: "Sleep pods fill a need, but the underlying need to prioritise sleep in life needs to be addressed. Naps alleviate sleep deficits, but don't replace adequate nocturnal sleep. And not everybody can nap.
"The positive thing is that society is beginning to recognise that sleep is important. The next step is to make provision for better sleep - it'll take companies, government bodies and society at large to shift that."