Power on with a Power Nap- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

Take a coffee break. Walk around. Have a quick gossip with colleagues. Wash your face. Do all these—and more—to keep sleep away during work hours. Sleep deprivation at work is no light matter. What was being treated as a cause of concern before the pandemic has transformed into a public health crisis. It doesn’t just affect personal well-being, but can create workplace challenges too. According to a study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2022, sleep deprivation impacts performance of individuals at work.

Recognising the importance of the issue, businesses in countries like Japan, India and Sweden are introducing dedicated nap areas in workplaces. One solution that’s garnering attention is the Giraffenap nap pod created by KOYOJU Plywood Corporation in Japan. These standing pods encourage people to recharge with power naps of 20 minutes. 

Manufacturers of Giraffenap devices refer to a study conducted by Hokkaido University and Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University in 2019 as their prime directive. It indicated that individuals can reach the second stage of sleep, characterised by light breathing, even when they sleep while standing. The pods aim to enable people to achieve this state, facilitating a quick return to work without experiencing dizziness.

The pods come in two themes: the futuristic ‘Near Future’ Spacia and the organic wood-laden ‘Japanese Style’ Forest. Designed keeping privacy and space efficiency in mind, they are suitable for public spaces such as offices and community areas. Both feature adjustable cushioning, allowing users to comfortably rest their feet, knees, buttocks and arms while maintaining an upright position. What set the two apart, however, are their unique features. While the former boasts soundproofing and fireproofing, the latter is designed to maximise airflow. These products are scheduled to be available in Japan starting December 2023, with global availability yet to be determined.

Japan may be famous for its workplace napping—there’s a word for it too, inemuri, which literally means “sleeping while being present”—but guess what, India too is catching up on this trend. Jainam Mehta, the founder of Urban Nap, designed India’s first sleeping pod in 2020, which was initially conceived to offer overworked employees a well-deserved break. With time, this product has evolved into Smart Pods, featuring an integrated mobile app, back and shoulder massagers, oxygen therapy, soothing meditation music, ventilated seating and a zero-gravity recline. The Urban Nap has already installed four of these pods at Ahmedabad Domestic Airport Terminal 1 and within a coworking space in the city. Power naps have never been more experiential.

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