Napwell fights for your right to nap on the job

Napwell Kitten

Napwell, the Kickstarter-funded makers of “The World’s First Napping Mask,” have taken their daytime-snoozing advocacy to the next level with an online petition to reverse HR policies that prohibit napping at the workplace.Napwell co-founder Neil Joglekar says the idea for the petition first arose out of conversations with the startup’s backers. Many said they wanted to use their nap mask at work, but were not allowed to because their employers “don’t want … employees to look like they’re not being productive.”

A 20-minute power-nap will increase your productivity more than a cup of coffee,” says Joglekar, adding that the idea of napping at work is far more widely embraced in other countries than it is in the US. And not just in places known for the traditional afternoon doze, like Spain and Italy – Joglekar says that even in Japan, a culture known for its emphasis on productivity, “they embrace napping at a similar level” as they do in the easygoing Mediterranean.

Joglekar says employers’ main objections to lifting office-nap bans are logistical. Even if it’s true that napping could increase worker productivity, the question of where they could nap, and what to do if someone starts snoring, remain an issue.

Some companies – Joglekar mentions Google, Nike, and the Huffington Post – have added dedicated nap rooms to their offices, but most still force employees to keep up the appearance of wakefulness no matter how sleepy they may feel on the inside.

The Napwell mask, which reached its funding goal in late January and is scheduled to ship in September, helps combat “sleep inertia, that groggy headache feeling that you get … when you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle,” with lights that “simulate a sunrise, [which] brings you into a lighter sleep stage.”

Napwell was one of the 14 companies featured in TechCrunch’s Boston Pitch-Off in November.

In other snooze-related news, Joglekar and his co-founder Justin Lee are looking to organize Boston’s first “nap-up” sometime in the near future. Beta Boston readers who want to get on board are encouraged to reach out via the contact page on Napwell’s website. Sweet dreams!

Image by Flickr user pinguino, licensed under Creative Commons.

Nick Cox is a freelance writer who lives in Somerville.
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