LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Students in New Mexico are learning that a short nap can sometimes save a day that isn’t going right.
Two high schools in the Las Cruces Public Schools district and two in the Gadsden Independent School District are using high-tech sleep pods for students. The sleep pods, made by MetroNaps, include a reclined chair with a domed sensory-reduction bubble that closes around one’s head and torso. They were purchased through grants from the New Mexico Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico.
The pods generally feature a one-touch start button that activates a relaxing sequence of music and soothing lights. Some have headphones. At the end of 20 minutes, the pod begins to vibrate gently and an uptempo beat gradually starts playing to wake the student.
Las Cruces and Gasden are the only school districts in the nation using the pods.
The first one, purchased in 2008, was installed at Gadsden High School. Linda Summers, an associate professor in the school of nursing at New Mexico State University, helped secure the grant after discovering the pods — which were being used in a sleep lounge in the basement of the Empire State Building.
“Tired New Yorkers would go down there for a short nap in the middle of the day,” she said.