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Power Through with Power Naps

I was recently rushing down a street in midtown Manhattan, trying to dodge raindrops, when an unusual sign stopped me in my tracks: a storefront was inviting me in for a nap.

I decided after a moment that I had enough willpower to pass up the offer and make it to my appointment on time (plus, the store looked suspiciously like one of those fancy new frozen-yogurt shops), but I kept thinking about the unusual spa, and when I got home, I investigated.

Photo courtesy of IgoUgo member quinius

The place, it turns out, is Yelo, and it’s one of a growing number of power-nap spas helping, according to their website, “urbanites deal with the pressures of modern life through a unique combination of sleep and reflexology massage treatments.” But the greatest potential for the trend, I think, is with weary travelers.

I concede that I might be more excited than most about these sleep spas’ missions and that I’m unusually obsessed with getting enough sleep. (When I shared my “ideal sleep time” of 10 hours with some friends, they seemed to think it was weird. For the record, again, I did not say I get 10 hours of sleep every night; I only said that it is my optimal amount.) But I’m thinking back to all the places I’ve tried getting in a nap while traveling—places like bumpy trains, backseats of vans, and one gravelly Madrid park—and I can see how a designated, comfortable nap spot would appeal to me—and to others—on trips. Forget the airport spas; when I’m schlepping around sight-filled cities one jet-lagged day later is when I really need some rejuvenation.

So far, I’ve found places I could go for a few winks in Atlanta, London, and San Francisco (via the “guided imagery massage”), and I’m hoping more pop up. What do you think? Are these nap pods creepy, or sleepy goodness?


My name: Michelle Doucette

How I earn my keep: I'm an editor at

Favorite way to get around: Some of my favorite trips involved renting cars in foreign countries and driving through the countryside, stopping on whims. You get a feel for the culture away from the big cities and meet interesting people on the road, including, I must admit, an embarrassingly high number of local policemen. I suppose it would be prudent to learn all of the traffic laws ahead of time.

Best meal I've had while traveling: Since a succession of gelato cones probably doesn't count as a meal, my favorite must have been a fresh crabmeat lunch prepared by a St. John sailboat captain while we took a break from snorkeling in the Caribbean. Sharing baklava as the sun came up over Paros, Greece, (while, once again, not technically a meal) was also memorable.

Travel ambitions: Since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I've figured out that I'd like to keep trekking while traveling. I've got my eyes on epic hikes in Nepal, Bhutan, and Peru.



Creepy!? No. Never underestimate the importance of a good nap. I will–and have–napped just about anywhere and everywhere and I think that even a few minutes of sleep are critical. If only we could convince the higher-ups. After all, napping an hour in the afternoon has been shown to increase productivity in the workplace. Of course, not for that hour that you’re asleep…

Genevieve Brown

Michelle — I think there are also places to nap at the Singapore Airport!

My friend who works in book publishing here in NYC has a napping room in their office! How great is that?!

Nothing But Bonfires

I think I’d feel too much PRESSURE to nap. Like “oh my gosh, I’m paying for this, I NEED TO GET MY MONEY’S WORTH.” It would probably stress me out so much that I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway. And the whole thing would be a bust!

Nope, give me a bumpy train or an airport chair anytime. Way less pressure!

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