Daniel Turissini, the 31-year old founder of recharj, was a burned out consultant trying to find a suitable place to incorporate a short nap into his workday. He soon realized that he was not the only one trying to sneak in a little shut-eye in order to survive the stress and anxiety common in the modern workplace.
In an October 13, 2016 article in The Washington Post, Turissini said: “It wasn’t a matter of whether or not people were napping each day. It was a matter of where they were doing it.” It was this problem of “where?” that led Daniel Turissini to envision a comfortable and safe place for stressed-out workers like him to take a short, restorative nap during the workday.
Until recently it would have been hard to imagine an employee suggesting to the boss that instituting a policy of daytime napping would be a good idea! If you weren’t two years old, elderly, really sick, or on vacation, napping was considered a habit of slackers and lazy bums. But current research is supporting the idea that napping can actually increase productivity in the workplace. The National Sleep Foundation’s website states: “While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.”
Based on this new understanding, firms such as Google, Nike, and Huffington Post have created spaces with beds or couches, soothing music and other sleep-inducing accessories for employees to use when they need to get some rest.
But most people don’t have that option at their work place. And that’s where an oasis like recharj comes in. Individual sleep pods, furnished with special bean bag “beds,” cozy blankets and lavender-scented eye masks, are available for a 20-minute nap while soothing music plays in the background. Since a good nap is only one factor in reducing overall stress and anxiety, recharj also offers yoga and meditation classes or individual training by certified instructors. These instructors are also available to lead corporate workshops or regular on-site meditation or yoga. The initial studio opened in downtown, Washington, DC, in August, 2016. In November of 2017, a second studio was opened in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to the Washington Post and Huffington Post, recharj has been reviewed in the Washington Business Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, as well as on numerous radio and television stations.
People who are devoted to the daily nap would not be surprised to learn that they are in good company. Many famous and highly successful people incorporated this practice into their daily routine. Among them are Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, George W. Bush, Nikola Tesla, and Leonardo DaVinci.
UPDATE: Recharj is no longer in business.