Meditation and sleep boutique offers 20-minute respites in troubled times.
In the middle of a stress-filled fall election season, a savvy Washington, D.C., entrepreneur opened a meditation and sleep boutique called Recharj in the heart of the city. An Oct. 13 headline in The Washington Post read, “Would You Pay for a 20-Minute Nap? This studio is charging $15 for one.”
On the same day the Post story ran, the American Psychological Association released findings from its annual Stress in America poll showing that 52% of American adults have experienced stress related to the presidential election. One antidote to anxiety, the APA said, is to work on changing your thoughts.
So, will the anxious and weary pour into Recharj on their lunch hour? Time will tell. But its opening seemed perfectly timed. Instead of catching up on the latest news at midday, the truly savvy will seek to de-stress by scheduling a meditation or naptime online and then head over for a little relief at Recharj.
Those who choose sleep over meditation climb onto a bean bag bed in a private power-nap “cocoon.” They don a lavender-scented eye mask and listen to a soft soundtrack, while resting their heads on pillows emblazoned with the words “love” and “peace.”
Recharj’s owner is 31-year-old Daniel Turissini. He says he hopes to get rid of the stigma around napping and had, himself, searched in vain for a comfortable place downtown to take a nap during business hours. According to the Post, his meditation and sleep boutique is not unique but is part of a bigger trend. There are similar concepts, such as Doze in San Francisco, and they appeal to health-conscious millennials in their quest for work-life balance.
The lack of balance people have felt this fall covers a wide swath of America, the APA said, and there was no statistical difference among respondents when it came to party affiliation. However, respondents active on social media were more likely to say the election has been a very or somewhat significant source of stress (54% vs. 45% for those not on social media), making a case for turning off devices—and taking a snooze break.
Of course, stress affects sleep, and mattress e-commerce company Novosbed, based in Edmonton, Alberta, wondered whether people actually were losing sleep over the election. Not surprisingly, the answer was yes, especially for those who had watched a televised debate while lying in bed. Fifty percent said they had trouble sleeping afterward or had had nightmares. In Novosbed’s survey, 66% of American adults reported some sleep problems related to the election. What was surprising is that the anxiety about the U.S. presidential election crossed the border into Canada. In a separate study with Canadian respondents, 22% reported some sleep loss and 16% had suffered from nightmares.
The founders of Recharj and Doze have more markets to explore.