I Paid $40 To Nap Like An Astronaut

...and I'd do it again. No literally, I think I'm going next week.

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"I think I might be spending $40 to go take a nap for 40 minutes," I texted my boyfriend. Like most who know me well, Rob knows that naps are essential to my continued health and happiness. In fact, I like to say that I'm making up for all the naps I refused to take a toddler, now in my mid-30s. 

Chances are you lead a very busy, very frantic kind of life. Between work and family and other responsibilities sometimes it can feel like even managing to get six hours of sleep a night is a major accomplishment. This is a reality I have refused to accept.


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That's why when I heard about a special spa in midtown Manhattan where I could shell out 2 twenties and then be rewarded with a peaceful nap that promised to reenergize me in the span of time between leaving work at 6 and starting rehearsal at 7, I was thoroughly on board. I mean, who doesn't want to know how to sleep better and get to nap in the middle of the day?

I have to admit that as I hopped on the 6 train head uptown (just three stops) I was dealing with a lot of guilt and shame over my decadence. When you consider the state of the world, it's not exactly surprising that I should have been self-flagellating.


But the simple fact remains, if you can't take care of yourself then you can't take care of anyone (or anything else). It really is just that simple. I had the money, I had the need, and I was going to do it. 

I arrived at YeloSpa and immediately thought I was in the wrong place. Its look is non-traditional, all magenta pink, and instead of a desk to check-in, there's a central kiosk dotted with artfully placed flowers and candles that you could buy should you feel so inclined. A woman in black appeared from nowhere and kindly checked in me, before escorting me to the small room where I was to enjoy my luxury nap. 

It's not uncommon these days to find more and more places offering this kind of service — from salons to specialty pod napping clubs. What distinguishes YeloSpa from the pack is their Zero G positioning. The room where I was to nap was equal parts sterile like a doctor's office, and cozy with pink salt lamps flickering with LED candles.


The receptionist spritzed the air with a "sleep-inducing aroma" (it was Lavender, obviously) before flicking down the plush blankets on the bed to let me feel how the mattress itself was heated to reduce muscle tension. 

I got kinda undressed... well, I took off my bra and my socks and then got in bed. The receptionist knocked again before entering roughly five minutes later leaving me to realize that I definitely could've been napping in the nude if that's what I preferred (it is).

RELATED: Sleep Makes You Beautiful (Says Science): 5 Ways To Get More Zzzs


"Stay on your back while I put your body in the Zero G position," said the receptionist. This sounded like something I might hear a woman at a sex party snap in my direction, but I tried not to look taken aback.

She took up a massive remote and punched at buttons until my head was slightly elevated, and my legs and feet were at a 90-degree angle. "I don't sleep on my back," I said to her, panicked that my luxury nap would be a luxury lay-there. I was also slightly concerned about kicking myself in the face while I slept. 

The receptionist blinked at me. "It won't be a problem," she said before leaving the room — and me — in the dark. White noise (at my request) whooshed on, and just as I was thinking "there's no way this is gonna—" I was out! Done! Napping! It was like the second she closed the door I fell victim to a gas leak.

The secret is the position they put you into, it would seem. By having your feet elevated, you're slowing down your heart rate and reducing your body's core temperature. This all adds up to almost instant sleep, and sleep I did. 


All photos: YeloSpa

I was fretting going in about having to be awoken by a stranger, but thankfully they had a hack for that. A "sunrise" gently illuminated my room when the time was up, and I left the room feeling ready (and then some) for the next part of my day.


Is this something I could replicate at home? Sure, to a degree. But when you're in the middle of your day and home is an hour away (like it is for me), this option was amazing. Plus, I don't think I'd be able to get my body into that Zero G position and be trusted to stay that way at home. 

Self-care is critical. If you want to be your best self, you have to take care of YOU. Stealing away for a quick lunchtime or teatime astronaut nap is just about as good as it gets when it comes to taking care of yourself. Sweet dreams!

RELATED: Let Her Sleep In! Women Need More Sleep Than Men, Says Science

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.