When I moved to New York, I had no idea that it was going to be im-fucking-possible to get a decent night's sleep, ever. I also have the frequent urge to retreat to a dark room and curl up in the fetal position whenever I'm in the city—but don't we all? Still, I never imagined paying for a nap in a special, quiet, warm, nap-pod. Nor could anyone imagine that this early-mid 00's trend would still be kicking it!
The Japanese had already figured this out in the 80s, with their coffin-style nap-pods, stacked two high, designed for businessmen. Slightly larger and less dehumanizing capsule hotels have sprung up in Europe and on the Upper East Side.
And then when Metronaps opened in the Empire State Building in 2004, the press went wild—micronapping for New Yorkers! And the trend story just wouldn't die. Last year, Business 2.0: "It remains to be seen whether napping ends up being 2006's version of the oxygen bar." It has not.
Inside, a young girl was being attended to by a gentleman explaining the special sleep beds to her. She basically wanted a guarantee that she would fall asleep during her scheduled naptime.
"Nine outta ten," the man said, "although if you really want to make sure, you might want to schedule for thirty minutes, you know."
A nice woman had me fill out some forms, which is always relaxing, then gave me cinnamon tea and took me to my pod—which, to be fair, is larger than typical pod-size and octagonal. It had a futuristic feel: the lighting was pink and white noise played, creating a sleeping-on-an-airplane vibe.
She put me in the chair and hit "recline" so that I was lying down but with my feet elevated in a sitting position. This was supposed to slow my heartbeat. She put a soft blanket on me and left. I sort of slept. The strange sleeping position created a sensation of floating in space. When the time was up, the pink lights slowly flicked back on.
It was totally relaxing! And as soon as I stepped outside, I started checking my text messages.