There’s no end to things you can pay someone else to do for you. You can hire a professional organizer to teach you how to put away your sweaters. You can pay someone to make your coffee, so you can sit in public, working on your screenplay. You can even pay people to hang out with you in bars. Soon, you might be able to pay good money to take a nap at the gym.
It's called Napercise, and it's everything you didn't know you needed
David Lloyd Clubs, a UK gym, noticed that some of their clients seemed awfully tired. To address this national crisis marketing opportunity, they started offering The 40 Winks Workout, a 45-minute “napercise” class. And it’s (literally) putting people to sleep.
According to their video, a quarter of parents get less than five hours of sleep per night. Almost one-fifth of people admit to falling asleep at work. And David Lloyd Clubs are fighting the good fight against tiredness to “help reinvigorate the mind, body, and even burn the odd calorie.” Emphasis on odd?
It's free … for now
The napping “class” was offered as a free trial a few weekends ago. Immediately, 100 exhausted people signed on to have a gym staffer tuck them in. The idea is aimed at exhausted parents, but if the first class was any indication of a greater napping need, the club might do a (UK) nationwide rollout, according to a company representative in an interview with HuffPost. The sun may not set on the British Empire, but it will turn down the lights in the middle of the day for the weary.
What's it like to nap at the gym?
The session started with some instructor-led stretching exercises in a large room. Participants were given sleep shades and invited to climb under comfy duvets on their individual twin beds. The room temperature was lowered, the lights went down, and it was off to la-la land. At the gym. With a bunch of strangers …
I have a lot of questions about this. Does it induce more stress if you can't fall asleep on command? That feels counterproductive. What about people who snore? Are there professional nudgers standing by? What about people who sleep naked? Is that allowed? Can you bring a date?
Is this really necessary?
Insufficient sleep affects productivity, job safety, traffic accident rates, parenting, and being able to finish a movie in one sitting. David Lloyd cites these UK statistics:
- 86 percent of parents admit to suffering from fatigue
- 26 percent regularly get less than five hours of sleep per night
- 19 percent of tired parents admit to sleeping at work
- 11 percent have found themselves drifting off while driving
- 5 percent have forgotten to pick up their child from school due to tiredness
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 38 percent of Americans say they've fallen asleep unintentionally. Seven percent of people aged 25-35 have fallen asleep while behind the wheel. That’s terrifying! I've personally seen someone fall asleep, mid-chew, in the middle of dinner. Clearly, modern society could use more napping.
Forward thinking companies are already offering their employees napping opportunities. Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Burlington, Vt., has a room with a bed and pillows for anyone who works there. Nike’s home office in Portland, Ore., has “quiet rooms.” Shoe purveyor Zappos.com allows napping at their Las Vegas offices. And not to be outdone, Google has energy pods, for that inside-a-giant-egg feeling.
If you don’t work at any of those places, you can still grab a power nap during the day. Go out to your car during your lunch break, set a 20-minute timer on your phone, and get in some Zzz's in the parking lot. If you use public transportation to get to work, delay your morning coffee until you get to your office, and go to sleep on the train or bus. There are apps that will wake you up when you get to your stop.
If none of these are for you, you can always wait for your gym to offer group naps. Would you pay to napercise?
Dara Nai is an LA-based humor writer whose credits include scripted television, entertainment and pop culture journalism, celebrity interviews, and cultural commentary. She has also appeared in her own show for LOGO TV, written two independent sitcoms, and inexplicably, served as a judge at an international film festival.