Media Advisory: Jump-start exam week catching Zs in the library

Instead of an endless supply of coffee, jitters and lack of sleep during exam week, students at Wake Forest University will cram on naps, relaxation and technology-free zones in an unlikely place… a newly-created “ZieSta Room” in the Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Library.

Research shows that even 15-minute naps can increase retention, focus and productivity. So, students approached Associate Dean Susan Smith about creating a space conducive to mid-study naps.

While falling asleep in the library is hardly new,encouraging it illustrates how libraries are writing a new chapter on the wellbeing of students living in a 24/7 world.

The “ZieSta Room” is the latest example of how ZSR Library, a recent Excellence in Academic Libraries Award winner, encourages optimal student wellbeing during peak times of stress.

The ZieSta Room features:

  • Comfortable recliners,
  • Calming natural lighting (all light bulbs have been removed),
  • A custom-built cabinet with eight recharging lockers to securely store and charge personal electronic devices,
  • And a technology-free space that is quiet and ideal for rest.

“Wellbeing and stress management continue to be priorities on campus,” said Smith. “By listening to students, and being open to all ideas like the ZieSta Room, we can help identify what their needs are to achieve their very best throughout the year, not just during exam week.”

In September, Wake Forest introduced a new way to approach wellbeing called “Thrive: Comprehensive Wellbeing at Wake Forest.” Equal parts education and inspiration, the campus-wide effort aims to give students, faculty and staff the skills, knowledge, resources and perspective to live healthier, balanced lives.

“With the renewed focus on wellbeing and the incorporation of ‘Thrive’ on campus, the ZieSta Room encourages the wellbeing of students by having a specified place within the library that allows students to easily take a break from work,” said Elizabeth Carlson, a senior from Charlotte, N.C. “The ZieSta Room is an accessible space where students can take a pause from reading, writing and problem solving to recharge before returning to their studies.”

About Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at


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