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Washington 'Nap Cafe' Helps Busy Workers Slow Down

Working Too Much and Moving Too Fast? Recharj Offers Solutions
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Working Too Much and Moving Too Fast?

How to Spend a Midday Break in Washington, D.C.
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Daniel Turissini used to work long hours as a consultant in the Washington, D.C., area. He always felt tired by the middle of the work day. He asked business professionals if he knew what they did to feel more energetic during the day. Some told him they rested mid-day in their cars. Others said they took short naps at their desks.

For Turissini, their answers revealed a need for Washington professionals -- a place to go during the day to take a proper nap.

So, a few months ago, he opened a nap cafe in the center of America’s capital city. It is called recharj.

After turning off all of their electronic devices, recharj customers lie down in so-called “power nap cocoons.” The cocoons are meant to help people fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed. They have a bed, a blanket and a special scented eye mask to help customers relax. Soft music plays in the cocoons.

The customers sleep for about 20 minutes before returning to work.

Turissini says recharj offers a solution to the city’s fast-paced lifestyle – a chance to slow down. He says that today’s professionals face issues that “we never really had a generation ago.” For example, smartphones make it easy for a boss or coworker to contact workers, in Turissini’s words “at all hours at night or when you’re on vacation.”

He says “there’s a load of other challenges we’re facing today that wellness and lifestyle changes – habit changes – are critical to a sustainable life, to a long, happy life.”

recharj experts also offer group sessions on meditation and mindfulness, as well as wellness events.

Connor Garitty is an IT consultant. He says he visits recharj almost every day.

He says, “I feel, I guess, like the day is just beginning instead of (thinking) ‘Oh my God how am I going to get through the rest of the day?’ I come here a lot at the middle of the day and after work. And even that is just as helpful because you’re energized.”

Mari Aponte is a lawyer in Washington. She says she often feels tired and stressed after hours of sitting down at work.

“What I like most about coming here is that I can breathe, whereas my morning is very crazy. I drink a lot of coffee and I’m like moving too much, too fast. So, I come here; it helps stop time and just balance my day.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Faiza Elmasry reported this story for VOA news. Rei Goto adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

consultant - n. a person who gives professional advice or services to companies for a fee

nap - n. a short period of sleep especially during the day​

properadj. right, suitable correct

customersn. one the purchases a commodity or service.

cocoonn. something that wraps around you completely, especially to protect you

relax - v. to become or to cause (something) to become less tense, tight, or stiff

refresh v. to restore strength and animation to

scented adj. having a pleasing smell

challenge n. something that tests strength, skill, or ability, especially in a way that is interesting

sustainable adj. able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed

meditation - n. the act or process of spending time in quiet thought​