Healthy Living

Mobile Pods Let Busy City Dwellers Nap In The Middle Of The Day

You can even listen to fairy tales as you doze off.

WASHINGTON -- "I'd forgotten a lot of the details of 'Little Red Riding Hood,'" Jordan Hinson said as he emerged from an outdoor nap pod on Friday afternoon.

Hinson, 26, doesn't usually nap in the middle of the day. After all, he's busy enough with his job as an engineering contractor. But he decided to take a few minutes to check out mattress company Casper's "Nap Tour" on its stop through town.

The company's trailer -- containing four "pods" in which people can lie down and listen to recorded fairy tales as they doze off -- is touring East Coast cities, offering naps to anyone who needs them.

The pods will be set up in Washington's Eastern Market neighborhood between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. from Sept. 25-27.

Hinson learned about the power of naps from his neuroscience professor. "I think the idea is great," he said.

Each of the octagon-shaped nap pods are fitted with wood paneling and designed similarly to Japanese capsule motels.

People can test out Casper's mattresses in a specially designed nap trailer containing four pods.
People can test out Casper's mattresses in a specially designed nap trailer containing four pods.
Casper's "rest nest" features design inspired by Japanese capsule hotels.
Casper's "rest nest" features design inspired by Japanese capsule hotels.

Many visitors to the pods on Friday admitted that they don't get enough sleep.

Kevin Hinton, for example, who came by between meetings, said he gets seven hours of sleep a night, which he acknowledged was "not enough."

"I'm out ... looking for jobs," said Charlene Davis, a District resident who tried one of the nap pods. "I'm not able to take naps."

People check out Casper's nap pods in Washington during the company's "Nap Tour."
People check out Casper's nap pods in Washington during the company's "Nap Tour."

Beyond getting people to nap, Casper is promoting its mattresses, which go for $850 in a queen size.

Casper's co-founder and chief creative officer, Luke Sherwin, said the company wants to be "the world's first brand that stands for giving people better sleep."

"In 2013, we watched people who had gone from bragging about all-nighters in startups to coming in and showing how sleep was something not to be hacked out of your life, but was something to be hacked into your life," said Sherwin, who cites The Huffington Post's editor in chief, Arianna Huffington, as a source of sleep-related inspiration.

Still, even ready-made nap pods can't always convince people to put down their phones and relax.

When asked if he actually slept in the pod, Hinson admitted, "I was taking selfies and sending them to my family."

The "Nap Tour" has already visited Boston, New York and Washington, and plans to travel to Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta and Miami.