- A wellness center in New York City that says its aim is “recharging the people who power the world” by giving them a space for an important activity:napping.
- Nap York is a 24-hour facility in midtown Manhattan that lets people drop in to sleep in pods, from a 30-minute power nap to a multiple-hour slumber session designed for travellers who have layovers at one of the nearby airports.
- Visitors can pay $US15 for a 30-minute nap or up to $US250 a month for a membership that includes five naps a week.
- Studies have found that naps improve immune system health, energy,cognitive function, and emotional control.
A few blocks from Times Square, in the middle of one of New York City’s busiest neighbourhoods, is an urban oasis where sleep-deprived New Yorkers can swap their shoes for slippers, drink a cup of tea, and take a nap.
That’s the idea behind Nap York, which opened in February, offering 30-minute naps in sleep pods for $US10. Seven months later, prices have risen slightly, to $US15 for half an hour, and there are additional options for monthly memberships.
For $US35 a month, you can pop into Nap York for one 30-minute nap a week. The priciest membership is the $US250-a-month Gold Premium, which includes five naps – up to 90 minutes each – per week. You can also book a longer nap starting $US50 for three hours with each additional hour costing $US7.
The pods are strictly single-occupancy. Visitors can also take a shower, get a massage, or relax in one of the hammocks on the roof.
Reza Moreno, the community director for Nap York, told Business Insider that a large chunk of its visitors were travellers who need a place to sleep for a few hours during their layover at a nearby airport.
But she stressed that Nap York is not a hotel. Visitors can’t book multiple long sleep sessions in a row.
“We just give the convenience for those who literally just need a place to bonk out for the night,” Moreno said.
During the day, Nap York sees office workers who pop in for a half-hour power nap on their lunch break. In the summertime, some sweaty New Yorkers even dropped by to take a shower before a business meeting.
Here’s what it’s like inside Nap York.
Located in Manhattan’s bustling Midtown neighbourhood, Nap York calls itself “your 24/7 oasis in the middle of the Concrete Jungle.” When I got there, I tried to peer in the windows, but they were obscured by dark curtains.
Source: Nap York
Nap York has had about 8,000 people come in for naps since it opened in February, according to Moreno.
When you step inside, you’re greeted by screens that display the various nap and membership options available. There are also several large plants, which instantly hooked me, a stereotypically plant-loving millennial.
You then walk upstairs to the reception area, called the “Wellness Station,” where you trade your shoes for slippers, pay for your nap, and get a buzzer that acts as your alarm clock.
Before or after their nap, a customer can sit in a moon chair and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea in the greenery-filled lounge area. Before my tour of the facilities, I took a few minutes to relax in a chair and listen to the calming instrumental music that was playing.
One of Nap York’s employees, who are collectively called the “Dream Team,” told me that the use of a storage locker is included in the price of a nap. There’s also a space to store larger luggage.
The sleep pods are upstairs on two separate floors.
Plants are everywhere at Nap York; Moreno told me there were about 500 in the space.
I was surprised at first that everything was black — from the plant pots to the walls to a pod’s curtains — but it helped maintain a dim, calming atmosphere. There are 28 business-class and nine first-class pods, which are slightly larger and come with a weighted blanket and an adjustable bed.
Source: Nap York
The pod area was surprisingly quiet. Nap York’s space is soundproofed with upcycled car tires underneath the floors. White-noise machines that sound almost like air conditioners also help drown out background noise.
When I first peeked into a pod, I was surprised by how large it was. I expected it to be more tube-like, but there was plenty of room for a person to sit up.
I was told that Nap York’s main demographic consists of travellers who have layovers in nearby airports but that the company was getting more businesspeople who want to take advantage of the membership options. “We have a lot of ‘VIP members,’ as we call them, who come in Monday through Friday, 30 minutes at a time,” Moreno said.
The pods are inspected and cleaned after each use by one of Nap York’s employees. The mattresses, from the Japanese brand Airweave, are washable and designed to minimise dust and allergens. They have bed-bug protectors, and inspectors visit Nap York each month to ensure the facility is free of the bugs.
Source: Nap York
For an extra $US5 per nap, you can upgrade to a first-class pod that has more headspace, an adjustable bed, and a weighted blanket with linens. “We partner with a lot of sleep doctors, so they help us with what it takes for people to fall asleep faster and to get the rest that they need,” Moreno said.
Source: Nap York
If you choose not to store your shoes and other belongings in a locker downstairs, there’s space to put them underneath your mattress in a first-class pod.
The buzzer, provided to wake you up after your nap, goes off once and then again after a few minutes to let you awaken slowly. If that doesn’t wake you up, a member of the Dream Team will come to gently rouse you from your slumber.
Nappers have the option to leave their phone at the reception desk, or they can charge their device inside the pod.
I brought my phone with me because I cannot part with it for even 30 minutes.
Most of the mattresses can adjust the extent to which they recline up or down, controlled by this remote.
The ceiling of the first-class pod was covered with twinkly lights to resemble the starry night sky. The lights weren’t overly bright, but I turned them off when I was ready to sleep because I prefer complete darkness.
The Dream Team suggests you put the buzzer underneath your pillow, so I did.
The mattress was firm yet comfortable. It was very cool in the pod, so I was glad for the blanket. I’m a light sleeper and rather sensitive to noise, but all I heard as I tried to fall asleep were occasional quiet footsteps passing by my pod. By the time I lay down, I had only about 20 minutes to nap, and I usually don’t fall asleep quickly.
Source: Nap York
I ended up sleeping for about five to 10 minutes, but I woke up feeling relaxed and energised.
As I headed back downstairs, I thought that even if I hadn’t managed to fall asleep at all, I would have felt refreshed after spending that time lying down in a dark, quiet space.
Back at the reception area, a member of the Dream Team offered me a hot towel scented with essential oils and a shot of either green juice or kombucha. I chose the green juice and did not regret it.
I don’t think my days are gruelling enough that I need to pay to take a nap every single day, but I’m glad to know Nap York is there in case I ever need a few moments of peace in this crazy city.
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