Beginning next week, weary UA students will have another place to sleep off a long night of studying other than campus benches and library couches.
Hohm Inc. sleep pods will be available beginning Dec. 3 in the Honors Lounge on the second floor of the Student Union where students, faculty and staff can rest their heads and recharge their tech devices.
Each of the three, 43½-square-foot sleep pods will feature a twin-sized bed, a privacy curtain, charging stations, custom lighting and are soundproof with carpeted walls and ceilings.
A Hohm employee will be available to check students in, clean the rooms, watch for misuse and change sheets after uses.
The UA is the first school to have the pods installed on campus, said Nikolas Woods, who attended the UA and is founder and CEO of the company. More pods are slated to be installed at three additional schools in spring 2019.
Hohm has a deal that offers schools and businesses four pods at no cost, so the UA’s three starter pods are provided by the company for free. If the school finds there is a large enough demand for more, then the UA and other universities can purchase sets of four pods and service at a monthly rate of about $7,500.
Users can book 30-minute siestas or up to four hours of sleep using the Hohm app, but UA students are provided up to two free hours of naps a month. After that, rates range from $10 to $12 per hour, depending on the package they purchase.
The pods are available for use between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
Bringing the pods to an accessible location on campus is part of the university’s effort to promote holistic wellness in students, said Neysha Aguilar, manager of marketing and communications for the Student Union.
“We know wellness is key for students’ success,” Aguilar said. “It’s the Student Union’s mission to promote a balanced lifestyle.”
Aguilar said the school doesn’t really have concerns about misuse. She views the pods as a “positive resource and service.” Only one person is allowed in a pod at a time.
“We see them nap everywhere on campus. This provides students with solitude, a place that’s safe and comfortable for them to recharge their electronics and bodies before their next class,” Aguilar said.
These sleep pods are designed with a student’s schedule in mind. Many students have gaps between classes that are too short to commute back home, but long enough to squeeze in some rest after a long night of studying.
Woods started his first company, Lightbox Medical Inc., at 19 years old in 2010. He bought excess over-the-counter medical products and resold to distributors and pharmacies.
Woods sold Lightbox Medical after five years and invested the money on building up Hohm, which launched this year.
“Sleep is such a basic necessity and so is food. You can get food on the go; there are thousands of options. But when you need to sleep on the go, What are your options? The car? A hotel? You just need two hours, not 24,” he said.
“I saw there was a gap in the market ... and it started from own experience.”
Woods acknowledged there are other pods and nap chairs available on the market, but they are not private enough nor safe enough. As a former student, he recognized the need.
“There’s no hitting your head and you have somewhere to put your coat away,” Woods said.
“I wanted to design a space that felt like it was your own room.”