Would you pay $15 to take a nap? A growing number of businesses certainly hope so.
Nap York, a startup in New York City, is a wellness club that appreciates the business benefits of sleep. With live plants, soundproof curtains, noise-cancelling headphones and a dark, four-story environment, the company provides its “napping pods” for $15 a half-hour to anyone who wants to take a snooze any time during the day at its two locations near Grand Central and Penn stations. Depending on the pod chosen, customers can also enjoy phone chargers and “twinkling lights to mimic the starry night sky”, CBS News reports.
Nap York is betting that caffeine can only go so far in helping to offset the chronic lack of sleep that so many New Yorkers experience. “Coffee is just a quick fix. Once the caffeine wears off, you’re still tired,” Stacy Veloric, the company’s director of marketing, told CBS News. “Taking a nap, you can actually recharge yourself and you’re rebooted.”
There’s no denying that sleep is an important part of our health and we’re not getting enough of it. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to higher risks of stroke and lower productivity. Americans know that they need more sleepy time and for years many employers – like Ben & Jerry’s, Zappos, Nike and the Huffington Post – have allowed their employees to take a snooze while at the office, according to the National Sleep Foundation. These firms are also investing in hi-tech products – like specialized “EnergyPods”, which are ergonomic chairs equipped with privacy visors, timers and speakers – so that their employees can snooze in comfort.
But what about people that don’t work at big companies? They need more sleep too, right?
That’s why a growing number of entrepreneurs around the world, like the owners at Nap York, Los Angeles’s Spa Lé La, London’s Pop & Rest and Tokyo’s Nescafe Harajuku are offering spaces for their city’s hard-working employees to take naps whenever they want – for a small fee, of course. Independently operated nap pods are also popping up in airports and shopping malls and there are even apps like Recharge and Dayuse that allow travelers to reserve short term, discounted stays at participating hotels to catch up on some shut eye.
The question is whether all these companies are actually able to turn napping into a profitable line of business for the long term. Nap York seems to be doing pretty well – it opened its doors this past February and has experienced such a high level of demand that it’s since increased its number of nap pods from seven to 30 and raised its prices almost 50%.
And given the response from some customers, the prospects look good. “Napping is kind of my thing,” Laura Aussenberg, a Nap York customer and advertising sales executive, said in the CBS News report. To her, the fee charged is “1,000% worth it”.