Napping in NYC

Attention, tired techies of Manhattan: Your afternoon nap accommodations are ready...

Tech Culture

Attention, tired techies of Manhattan: Your afternoon nap accommodations are ready.

Start-up company MetroNaps has set up eight napping "pods" in a facility on the 24th floor of the Empire State Building in New York. For 14 bucks, you can settle down for a snooze that's designed to recharge the rest-deprived.

The napping period lasts just 20 minutes, but that's based on sleep science, MetroNaps co-founder Christopher Lindholst said. The average person falls asleep in about five minutes and the ideal nap length is 10 to 15 minutes, he said. Sleep longer, and you'll awake with "sleep inertia"--the same grogginess you get when waking up in the morning.

MetroNaps opened its doors in May, and demand is growing every week, Lindholst said. Its shut-eye craving clients include lawyers, bankers, show-biz types and programmers. "A lot of people have noted that this is an idea whose time has certainly come," he said.

That may be because Americans aren't spending enough time sleeping. The nonprofit National Sleep Foundation says adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day, but a 2002 survey found 39 percent of American adults get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, and more than one in three are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities. Meanwhile, Harvard researchers have found that a midday nap reverses information overload.

For businesses looking to refresh their nodding-off employees, MetroNaps sells individual pods at a base price of $7,950. The devices--which look like a cross between a dentist's chair and 1970s-style living room furniture--recline and vibrate.

Meanwhile, MetroNaps is eyeing other locations around the country. "People are tired all over America," Lindholst said, "not just in big skyscrapers in New York."

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