Napping in Central London

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Central London has a new place to recharge and relax.  Pop & Rest is a new boutique studio in central London near Monument.  When they first contacted me, I was intrigued about the concept.  A place where I can nap?  During the day?  I was in.  At my new work building, I have yet to discover a secret place to nap on the rare occasion where I overcommit myself and sacrifice my sleep.

On Thursday morning, I made my way down to their building.  Unfortunately, I got a bit lost in Bank Station which made me arrive right at noon.  The building has a reception desk, so I suggest that you arrive five minutes before your appointment in order for the Pop & Rest team to collect you.

I was escorted to their space, which was dimly light with electric tea light "candles".  The room is kept at 20 degrees Celsius as that has been proven to be the best temperature to fall asleep to, according to the Pop & Rest team.  I was shown to my 'pod' which was made of cubicle walls enclosing a bed, nightstand with lamp, and a place to hang my jacket.  The door was an accordion door for privacy.  The walls did not go all the way up to the ceiling, but I was told this would be happening soon.  There was also a little booklet on the nightstand, giving some tips on how to make the most out of your time in the pod, whether it be for napping, mediation, or relaxing.

The host explained that he would wake me up in 30 minutes, all I needed to do was get into bed.  I took off my shoes and curled into the "half crawl" position recommended by the booklet.  I opted not to use the blindfold or ear plugs.  The bed was super comfortable, as were the pillows.  Even though I was in jeans and a hoodie, I was still comfortable.  My FitBit didn't record me as sleeping, and I don't think I did either.  I was too worried about whether I would indeed fall asleep, how the host would wake me up, and all the crap I had to do when I got back to work. 

Even though I didn't officially sleep, I felt very chilled out when the host gently knocked on my door to wake me up.  I took a minute to stretch out and put my shoes back on.  I admit, my main concern was whether or not they change the sheets!  I learned that it takes only two minutes to do so and yes, they change them after every booking.

Another service Pop & Rest offers is a shower facility.  There are four shower cubicles and lockers to store your items.  Towels and toiletries are provided by Pop & Rest, which means you don't need to carry around extra things with you.

The business model for Pop & Rest has does very well in Spain, and I think will do in London too.  Not only can freelancers or athletes use the space for catching 40 winks or cleaning up, but people travelling into and out of London can too.  I was thrilled to learn that Pop & Rest are looking to open another site near my work at St. Pancras station due to the proximity to the Eurostar station. 

I cannot wait to return to Pop & Rest the next time I have a long day of work booked in.  If you are going to try, my top tips would be:

  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early to check in with reception.
  • Wear comfy clothes if you plan on sleeping or pack some pj's.
  • Book in for 60 minutes rather than 30.  It just didn't seem like long enough, even though a 20 minute nap can improve performance by 34% (according to Pop & Rest).
  • They offer free coffee, tea and fruit.  Place an order before your nap for a pick-me-up on the way out.
If you decide to book in, please let Pop & Rest know you heard about them through me.  I really hope this model takes off because I love a good nap and you should too.  Having a place to rest without having to travel all the way back home is a great way to recharge without loosing time on a commute.  It is also much more economical than renting a hotel bed for a few hours.  People who work multiple jobs, students, freelancers, those headed for a night out and more will soon be seeking out a pod.  Hopefully, Pop & Rest start offering monthly memberships or multi-packs soon.  A 30 minute nap is only £9 and worth every pence.

Thanks to Pop & Rest for inviting me along for a complimentary experience.  All opinions are honest and my own.

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