2018: The Year Of The Nap Pod

In a year chock-full of exciting new sleep technologies, few were as intriguing as the nap pod. Cropping up in all sorts of unexpected locations—from the work place to the airport, the mall and even some dedicated retail spaces—these personal snooze chambers have really taken off in 2018. Whether designated for busy worker bees who need a break during the day or airline passengers who want to grab some quick shut-eye while waiting for their flight, these new “nap spaces” do more than just make it easier for people to catch a few ZZZs while they’re out and about. They also increase daytime productivity and reinforce the growing wisdom that sleep should be a priority, no matter how busy you are.

As we’ve watched nap pods quickly become a new craze, we couldn’t help but wonder: is daytime napping really the answer to our nighttime sleep woes? And are pay-to-nap places providing a better rest than we can achieve at home?

Before we dive into the merits of daytime slumber, let’s take a tour, so to speak, of some of the newest “nap experiences” available today.

The Dreamery - Casper’s Dreamery is a great place to try a Casper mattress and get some shut-eye during the day. Located in New York City, The Dreamery gives its patrons the option to book a 45-minute nap ahead of time, but they also allow for walk-ins. For $25, you’ll get a chance to nap, of course, plus some other amenities: you can listen to some “special sleep audio” from Headspace, change into cozy pj’s and even grab a complimentary coffee after. All in all - Casper’s “nap as a service” location is pretty sweet deal, but it doesn’t come cheap.

Nap York – Also based in New York, Nap York offers nap pods outfitted with Aireweave mattresses and pillows along with weighted blankets, special candles and the start-up also offers napping and meditation classes. These amenities and others contribute to the incredibly upscale sleep experience Nap York aims to deliver its customers.

AirPods For Airports – While Nap York and The Dreamery have commodified napping, the AirPod idea is much more about utility and convenience for busy travelers. Offering slightly more independent experience, the AirPods are freestanding kiosks in airports that passengers can rent at an hourly rate. The pods feature phone chargers, luggage storage and a TV screen with access to Netflix. To create a more relaxing ambience, the AirPods are equipped with air purifiers and designed reduce outside noise – but, of course, still allow travelers to follow flight announcements.

EnergyPods By MetroNaps – This on-the-go napping tool is catered toward companies. Designed for an office setting, EnergyPods by MetroNaps are chairs that transform into a practical place to nap. According to the brand’s site, MetroNaps has installed EnergyPods in offices, hospitals, universities and fitness centers to help its clients refresh their energy throughout the day. These pods are less focused on delivering a fancy nap experience, but instead seek to provide a practical re-charge amidst schoolwork, business or even following a workout. Organizations choosing to purchase them are offering a really wonderful benefit to their employees, patrons and to students.

All of these new away-from-home nap options reflect a widespread yearning for better sleep and more energy. And according to The National Sleep Foundation, a quick daytime snooze can actually be a beneficial habit: “While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap…can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.”

That said, there are beneficial and detrimental ways to nap. Thankfully, the NSF has outlined a few helpful tips for achieving the perfect nap:

  • Naps should last between 20 and 30 mins
  • You want to avoid napping too late in the day so you can go to sleep at night
  • Choose a soothing sleep environment (this is where nap pods and/or great sleep products are valuable)

And while there are many benefits to napping, there are also adverse effects to avoid: 

  • The goal of a nap is to wake up feeling recharged and focused - but if you sleep for too long, they can actually cause sleep inertia and an overall feeling of grogginess. Make sure to set an alarm!
  • Napping during the day can disturb your nighttime sleep schedule. It’s important to time your naps carefully and be consistent if you decide to incorporate them into your daily routine

Read more here, here, here and here.

This article originally appeared in Sleep Retailer eNews on September 13, 2018

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