The latest routine to muscle its way into your wellness plan is not sound healing or meditation, but simply catching some shut-eye
Napping can “restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents” according to the US National Sleep Foundation, and science blogger Eric Barker, writing for Time, likens a snooze to “steroids for your brain.” Despite the benefits of napping, there has long been a stigma around retreating for some Zs, which is often perceived as lazy and counterproductive. However, new wellness studios are including nap stations to help recharge the mind and body, in the hope of shaking off this perception. Nap retreats are now popping up in major cities, offering the always switched-on urban dweller an opportunity for some downtime.
New York, the city that famously never sleeps, now takes naps, thanks to Nap York, an aptly named wellness club that opened its doors in February 2018. “We hope to provide New Yorkers with a quiet and relaxing place where they can go and recharge at any hour of the day,” Stacy Veloric, director of marketing at Nap York, tells JWT Intelligence.
The 24-hour club has three floors. The first houses a café, the second offers yoga and meditation classes, and the third is the tranquil floor, with seven custom-built nap pods where a 30-minute reboot costs $10. The company’s mission is to help New Yorkers “focus on cultivating wellness in body and mind” and provide not only a place for respite from the concrete jungle, but also an alternative self-care method.
In November 2017, Jennifer Thomas opened Peace Power Napping, Chicago’s first nap studio. “I like to think of Peace as on-demand napping for Chicagoans,” says Thomas. “Our goal when designing Peace was to make it as easy as possible for city-dwellers to grab a restorative midday power nap.”
Pop & Rest is a nap bar in London offering sleep pods for exhausted professionals, worn-out students and tired commuters. The company opened last year and is launching a mobile app this summer to make booking a sleep pod even easier. Siesta&Go opened in Madrid in summer 2017, and features sleep stations as well as areas for relaxing.
Sleep pod specialist MetroNaps, launched in 2003, invented the EnergyPod—“the world’s first chair designed specifically for napping in the workplace.” Each chair goes for approximately $13,000 and they have been a huge hit with high-profile companies. Google, NASA, Samsung, JetBlue and Procter & Gamble are among the MetroNaps clients who encourage employees to literally sleep on the job. The EnergyPods at the Virgin Active Health Club in Melbourne give gym members a 360-degree wellness option. “We’ve actually had people who have joined the club specifically for the EnergyPods,” says club manager Matt Jones.
Wellness centers are endorsing the power behind the nap, and carving out dedicated space for members to catch some downtime, as consumers embrace the importance of sleep. “I think people have a misconception about napping and need to be educated about the benefits,” says Veloric. As wellness studios, gyms and companies embrace napping stations, consumers are recognizing that they are no longer losing by snoozing—in fact, they may be set for a more productive and mindful day.
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