This New York City Hotel Is Offering Nap Pods to Local Workers

For the month of March, the Walker Hotel is offering mid-day siestas, complete with a robe, eye mask, aromatherapy, and access to the weight room.

Robe, eye mask, tea, and aromatherapy laid out on a bed at Walker Hotel.
Walker Hotel

Slowly but surely, America seems to be coming around to the idea of siesta culture.

In 2019, Khaliah O. Guillory founded the Nap Bar, a “rest sanctuary” near downtown Houston that also creates pop-up sleep spaces in office buildings and corporate environments. Organizations like the Nap Ministry have gained notoriety and lots of followers on social media for reframing rest as a social justice issue and napping as a radical tool for community healing. And, of course, there’s Silicon Valley, which shook up the business landscape in the early- and mid-2000s by installing nap pods for employees to retreat to whenever their brains needed a reboot.

Now, a New York City hotel is inching us even closer toward siesta life by turning its suites into midday nap pods for work-weary professionals.

Hold on, America rest is on the way.

At Tribeca’s Walker Hotel, people who can afford the fee, which ranges from $75-$199, will be able to slip out of the office, swaddle themselves in fine bedding, and catch a few Zzz’s before tackling the rest of their day. The program comes with a set of amenities that will allow people to re-create (or upgrade) their at-home bedtime routines on-the-go: a monogrammed robe, tea, an eye mask, aromatherapy products, and CBD pastilles. Subscribers will also get access to the hotel’s fitness facilities, in case anyone wakes up ready to hit the weight room.

Though the Walker introduced the service as a way to create unique experiences for guests and neighborhood locals, they were also looking to tap into the return-to-the-office surge. “Many people are missing their mid-day naps,” says Suzi DeAngelis, regional director of sales and marketing for Walker Hotels. “So we’re happy to accommodate.” It’s also a chance for introverts not used to nonstop interaction to have a way to escape and recharge.

But the need for such accommodations exists far beyond the context of changing work-from-home protocols. Americans are missing up to 74 billion hours of sleep per year, and it’s impacting everything from our health to our relationships and creative potential. While the efforts of a few companies and grassroots organizations to promote more rest are significant, truly addressing the combined epidemics of grind culture and Junk Sleep would require a complete social and cultural shift toward prioritizing our biological need for rest. And it could start with something as simple as carving out time and space for people to take naps.

“We need rest during the day as well as good sleep at night,” Jade Wu, Ph.D and Sleep Advisor, wrote in an essay about how midday naps can be used as a tool to combat burnout. She explains that being focused and alert at work triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which governs the “fight or flight” mechanism that determines how we respond to perceived dangers.

“Expecting the sympathetic nervous system to be engaged from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. is just not realistic,” she says. “It’s also not particularly productive.”

Indeed, studies have shown that daytime naps would be a boon for company’s bottom lines, as they increase alertness, improve cognitive performance, facilitate creative problem solving, and increase productivity. But more importantly, daytime napping bestows several benefits to our individual and therefore, communal health and wellbeing. Naps can help strengthen our immune systems, relieve stress, and help us better regulate our emotions. Researchers have also recommended several different napping styles that people can adopt to suit their specific lifestyles and circumstances, like “coffee naps” or this one, which was inspired by the pros at NASA.

We may be a long way from overhauling the American cultural and business landscape to make time and space for napping, given our society's allegiance to the hustle But the science — and our bodies — say that it’s worth it.

Though the program at the Walker will only last through March, which is World Sleep Month, they can help engage people’s imaginations about what’s possible. And that alone can bring us closer to making our dreams of a well-rested society a reality.