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Need-A-Pause Campaign

Photo of Nap Pod at the Library

Napping and special educational needs

Students with SEN often experience sleep difficulties. Some special needs conditions are associated with a higher risk of certain sleep-wake disorders, while some prescribed medications can cause problems with sleep. Students with sleep difficulties often experience an exacerbation of symptoms, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, as well as impaired cognitive functioning and execution.


Adults are recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. Students with SEN may require even more rest time. But sometimes your schedule simply does not allow you to get a full night of sleep. A short nap for 20 minutes during the day can be a short term solution to help make up for lost sleep and reduce fatigue.


Some circumstances that our students with SEN are facing

  • Drossiness at daytime due to prescribed medicines
  • Eye and brain fatigue with prolonged reading and studying
  • Deteriorated attentiveness and alertness for tasks requiring intense concentration
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleep at nights due to emotional, psychological or medical circumstances


Taking a nap at the right duration can benefit a student with SEN by

  • Reliving eye or brain fatigue
  • Boosting immune system
  • Restoring cognitive functioning including attention and memory
  • Extending daytime alertness
  • Reducing tension
  • Scheduled napping is recommended for some patients with narcolepsy and chronic neurological conditions


To raise students’ wellbeing awareness, SEN Support of Counseling and Wellness Center collaborates with the Library to launch this “Need-A-Pause” campaign as a pilot run in Fall 2021. More NAP Pods are available at Student Center in Fall 2023.  HKUST faculty, staff and students are welcome to visit LG1 of the Library or Student Center to experience a perfectly timed, energy-reviving 20-minute nap in an ergonomic NAP Pod with music, light and gentle vibration.

Photo of Nap Pod at the student center

Rules for the Use of Nap Pods

A. Make a Reservation 

Library - Pod #1 & 2: click HERE

Student Center - Pod #3 & 4: click HERE and select "General Booking"

  • Each user can book 1 session per day, 4 sessions per week.
  • Reservation may be made on the same day or at most 1 week in advance.
  • Each session lasts for 30 minutes, including cleaning and 20-minute nap. (Please use your own earbuds or headphones & wipe down the pod before and after each use.)

B. Notes for User

  • To start the session, user is required to press the ‘START’ button on right-hand side of the Nap Pods.
  • You may be asked to leave the Nap Pods if the booking session has ended/been reserved by another user.
  • Violators may be blocked from making reservation for 4 weeks.

Resources on napping and sleep hygiene

Counseling and Wellness Center, Need a Pause? and Sleep Hygiene leaflet

National Sleep Foundation, Should you nap?

The Better Sleep Council,

World Sleep Day,