It began because we saw people falling asleep: at work, on the train, in all kinds of places. We wondered what it was that made everyone so tired, and the answer seemed pretty simple: most people were not getting the night time sleep they needed.
But there was more to it than that: Humans are all naturally programmed to experience a drowsy period during the day, usually in the afternoon. In fact all mammals take a brief daytime rest. But we humans are the only ones who have forgotten the importance of following our own internal body clock.
When we discussed the idea of napping at work with professionals, what we heard most was that nobody wanted to be caught ”sleeping on the job”. Some admitted that they would sneak off to the toilet, a parked car or an unused conference room to get a little rest. The remainder simply caffeinated their circadian rhythm in an attempt to subject it to the rigidities of the work day created by the industrial revolution, with some exhausting consequences.
Our conclusion: a place of work should have a space for resting, just as it has toilets for our other needs.
But in 2003 employers were not ready for that idea, so we went straight to the consumer. And the best place we could think of was the City That Never Sleeps. New Yorkers surely needed a nap, and therefore the first place you could take a “MetroNap”, the efficient urban version of the powernap, was a retail facility in mid-town Manhattan.
In order to pass the Big Apple’s stringent zoning requirements, we had to do something other than build little rooms or we would have needed a hotel license.
That was the impetus for the EnergyPod. We needed something compact and efficient to minimize the amount of floor space we needed, and since it was for “single occupancy only” that meant there was no room for “hanky panky”. The EnergyPod combined the key elements our research indicated were necessary for an efficient nap: comfortable posture, adequate privacy and security.
Within two years we had opened a MetroNaps EnergyPod facility in Vancouver Airport to serve exhausted travelers, and a franchise opened on Wall Street for weary bankers and traders.
The goal was to get the message out: naps are necessary.
Already in 2004 we received inquiries from all over the globe about the EnergyPod as early adopters woke up to the importance of napping at work.
And while we no longer operate retail facilities, there are now EnergyPod installations in offices, hospitals, universities and fitness centers in dozens of countries across four continents.
Tens of thousands of naps have been taken, millions of minutes have been spent recharging, and as a result people are leading healthier and more productive lives.