Opinion

Don’t sleep on this nap innovation

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“I love to sleep…it’s my favorite.”—Famous Oval Office visitor and presidential aspirant Kanye West.

If you doubt things are getting more stressful in the nation’s capital, consider this country mouse saw her very first “nap studio” during a recent visit to Washington, D.C.

Located just a short walk from the beleaguered White House and constipated Congress was a lovely spa-like storefront offering a variety of opportunities to come in and, well, sleep. Goodnight gloom.

For just $9, the city’s stressed-out bureaucrats can pop in for a “non-guided power nap.” Or, as Duh Hubby likes to call it “Sunday afternoon.”

If you think that’s too much to pay to go to sleep in the middle of the day when vodka’s always done the trick before, you’re not wrong. For bargain hunters there are — and I am not making this up — “nap packages” you can purchase that bring the price down a bit. For just $828 a year, the stressed-out staffers who work on Capitol Hill can buy “unlimited naps” and even some classes on meditation.

After a tough week of draping doilies over anything that says “McCain,” who could begrudge a weary wonk some lavender-scented shut eye in peaceful, overpriced surroundings?

For the ultra-frugal (tourists like me) there is also a drop-in, 20-minute self-guided “meditation” option for the low, low price of $5. For this paltry sum, you can “relax in a beautifully curated private meditation space.” Or you could just sit on a bench outside for free and enjoy some excellent busker saxophone playing, but where’s the beautiful curation in that? Don’t be a hick.

While the $5 option seemed to be the rock-bottom to gain entry, there was a sidewalk huckster vibe that made me wonder if there might be an even cheaper offering, much like the sweet ol’ thing I encountered in San Francisco who hollered to passers-by: “I’ll let you slap me for a dollar!”

True story: In my rapid-eye-movement deep sleep, I’ve fantasized it was Sean Hannity doing the hollerin’ and I was waving dollar bills at him just like a used car salesman at the hot wing lunch buffet at the strip club. Oh. Like you’ve never had that fantasy.

There are even workplace packages so you can make napping a team-building exercise for employees. Only in D.C., amiright? The thing you used to think was borderline shameful, closing the door and lowering the blinds while you snoozed briefly beneath your weighted blanket from Bed, Bath & Beyond is now officially sanctioned workplace behavior in Washington.

Insomniac? Not to worry. At D.C.’s napping mecca, a staff of “expert instructors” can help you with the whole “close your eyes and go to sleep thing” that seems so elusive when you’ve spent a day dismantling the Constitution. How much fun would it be to find myself in the curated meditation space right beside a dozing Mitch McConnell or Lindsay Graham! Would they wake up with oversized freckles and moustaches drawn with permanent marker? A girl can dream …

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.
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