Nap York sleep studio promotes rest and meditation during the day. Here’s why experts say you should swap out caffeine for extra sleep.
Rest is the new coffee break.
At Nap York, a new 24-hour tranquil oasis in Midtown Manhattan two blocks away from Penn Station, people pay $10 to sleep in nap pods for a half hour to relax and relieve stress.
“We wanted to create a place where these busy and exhausted individuals could come and take that break and spend some time focusing on themselves,” Stacy Veloric, the marketing director at Nap York, tells Moneyish.
The dimly-lit dream sanctuary features napping pods complete with a single mattress and adjustable LED lights on the ceiling arranged to look like a starry night sky. Each pod comes with live plants to purify the air, soundproof curtains, essential oil diffusers, noise-canceling headphones and reading lights. The beds are made with a pillow and blanket (There’s also a bed bug cover, because, New York.) Sheets are changed after every use. Licensed security guards watch over the premises at all times, and there’s always a housekeeper on call to sanitize the sleep pods, which are made of vegan leather.
Nap York’s model operates similarly to a WeWork. Patrons pay by the session online: $10 per 30 minutes, with a half hour minimum. There are seven pods currently, but Nap York plans to expand to 30 pods by April, and will open a wellness rooftop serving up juices and smoothies. Aside from napping, people can pay extra to do yoga or meditate ($10 for first timers), and use the lounge for working before or after a quick cat nap.
Studies show that taking naps during the workday yields more productivity. Taking a 45-minute nap improves learning and memory, a Harvard study published in 2008 found. And a NASA study observing sleepy astronauts and military pilots found that a 40-minute nap improved their performance by 34% and alertness by 100%.
Napping is certainly a better option than coffee, studies show. According to a 2010 report, having too much caffeine can impair cognition and cut into sleep patterns keeping people up longer at night.
Plus it’s sleep, not a caffeine fix, that keeps us most productive during the work day, doctors say.
“If you’re drinking coffee multiple times a day with three lumps of sugar, you’re sending your body into a sugar spin, and you’re going to end up crashing,” Dr. Jordan Josephson, a sinus and sleep apnea specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told Moneyish.
“Caffeine is a stimulant and doesn’t fix your exhaustion. It’s just a solution that’s a quick fix for right now,” Dr. Josephson added. “It’s better to do it with a healthier alternative, and that healthier option is mediation or taking a quick nap.”
A nap that’s up to 45 minutes long may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which promotes creative thinking. Don’t sleep longer than that if you have to go back to work, however, because you’ll wake up groggy and disoriented, experts warn.
Dr. Josephson recommends carving out 20 to 30 minutes per work day to rest easy — whether it be a quiet corner of your office, a cubicle, a designated nap studio or a meditation center.
That’s what 22-year-old sales investment broker Matthew Eisenberg is aiming to do. After waking up at 5 a.m. one recent weekday, he found himself crashing at his desk by noon. His work area was too cramped and noisy, so he decided to check out Nap York, spending 30 minutes in the nap pod, and another half hour to do work in the lounge. (The experience cost him $20.)
“I try my best not to drink coffee so much. I don’t like all the caffeine, it makes me super tired later,” says Eisenberg, who sought out a more natural alternative as a respite from his fast-paced job. “When I nap during the work day, I wake up more refreshed. It’s a better supplement,” he adds.
And it’s worth mentioning that getting more shut eye could earn you more money. Sleeping just an extra hour every week correlates with an increase in part-time wages of about 1.5%, and full-time wages of about 4.9%, according to a study by The American Time Use survey.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved