Naps are no longer the refuge of small children or the elderly. Nor is the concept of siesta a throwback to the days of antiquity (though to be truthful, many cultures around the world still honor the mid-afternoon rest period).
These days, influential corporations are encouraging their employees to take advantage of napping opportunities even while “on the clock.” They have figured out that the power nap can revitalize and recharge sluggish workers and improve their productivity.
Plenty of other people are relearning the fine art of the afternoon cat nap, especially telecommuting employees, stay-home parents, and travelers. Here are some 21st century ways you might consider for getting your siesta on.
Whether any of these options are appealing to you depends a great deal on how sleepy you are and how necessary you find a nap to be.
Many university students and business travelers may find one or more of these options appealing if they suffer from extreme fatigue due to inadequate nighttime sleep or jet lag.
Half the battle, of course, is finding the appropriate space to take a quick siesta. Here are some recent developments that solve the problem of venue for the nap seeker.
True to form, they look like pods which you recline inside. Supplying adequate enough privacy, light and noise buffering, they allow you to catch a few winks.
Corporate entities are not the only ones investing in these accommodations. Colleges are also finding that students in dorms, where privacy comes at a premium, will use nap pods to catch up on sleep while away from their dorms when their situation requires it.
College students may or may not be more familiar with this new riff on the old dorm room bed. However, mothers with children who had miniature “play tents” may recognize the basic concept here.
This indoor “sleep tent” resembles the adult version of the same childhood play tent many may already be familiar with, but with the additional benefit of opacity and security.
The nylon canopy-like form is placed on a bed frame; the mattress is then placed inside. This creates additional privacy for the napping student who wants to take a nap while their roommate is in the room.
The sleep tent can also be useful for early-to-bed students with night-owl roommates, as well as students who room with athletes who keep extreme hours due to training schedules.
Also called hammock cafes, nap salons, or nap cafes, these new privacy spaces are popping up all over Asia. They are exactly what they purport to be: spaces you can inhabit temporarily for the purpose of napping during the day.
South Korea is the latest corner of the globe to latch on to this practical trend, what they call “sleeponomics,” and for good reason:
According to a report from Korean Culture Blog, “in 2014, an average Korean sleeps… 40 minutes less than the global average… the number of South Koreans with sleep disorders totaled 721,000 in 2015, a sharp increase from 325,000 in 2011.”
But sleep salons of all kinds can be found all around the world, including the US. For people who are away from home but have nowhere to take a nap during the day, and do not have a hotel room to go to, these are a hot new option.
The sleeping arrangements are compact and often come fitting with outlets for plugging in smartphones for listening to music.
Some use hammocks instead of mattresses, others offer diaphanous canopies overhead for added privacy. Still others integrate a massage-like spa experience into the package. And theaters (see image, top) are now being put to use as daytime nap centers.
Believe it or not, the gym is not only useful for staying physically fit. Some athletic clubs are now using hammocks hung from the ceiling as part of an afternoon napping hour for members who need that midday nap and can’t do it at work or home.
This is quickly becoming a secondary use for the investment of special yoga hammocks used for yoga inversion classes. Others who might benefit from these opportunities include athletes in training looking for recovery time between workouts.
Maybe your workplace doesn’t mind you taking a nap, but they aren’t outfitted with sleeping accommodations (or maybe they don’t want to deal with the linens issue).
No worries… if they don’t mind you using an empty office or conference room, you can set up your own old-school air mattress or invest in one of the new inflatable nap pods and get your siesta on.
This is truly portable, a zip-on, zip-off fabric pod-shaped wearable you can use to achieve privacy in a public space for the purposes of napping.
You basically wear the cocoon over the top half of your body, zipping it up and tying it off to shut out noise and light.
This can work for people riding on long commutes, or between classes on campus, as a privacy measure in the car, or even in a conference room at work.