Office Chair Designed To Transform Into A Bed For Naps During Breaks

While napping during the day has been associated with type 2 diabetes and heart problems, there are certain benefits to napping less than an hour.

Michael Grander, director of sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona, told Men’s Health magazine that taking naps has to be by choice or voluntarily, not by necessity. 

He meant to say that being sleep deprived is not a good enough excuse to nap, rather it is a symptom of a larger problem, be it Alzeihmer’s or obsesity. However, napping limited to less than 30 minutes in the same place every day before 3 p.m. is medically advised to positively recharge the body and mind. It is important to rest at the workplace where white-collar employees are bogged down with time-bound tasks.

With busy work schedules, squeezing in an extra few minutes of nap time is a challenge, especially with tight deadlines to be met. The bigger question is: How do organizations, especially small startups that cannot afford energy pods, designate a cost-effective space that would allow employees to take a quick shut-eye?  

The answer could be Japanese retailer Thanko’s invention called the Lay Flat Office Chair, which can be alternatively used as a perpendicular flatbed. The innovation has caught the attention of media outlets almost a decade after its debut in 2010 and is being plugged again. 

The armchair looks like a regular, wheeled, sophisticated office chair. It can be converted into a flat surface if the backrest is pushed backwards and flattened out, similar to recliners commonly found in living rooms, minus the cushiony feel.  The chair differentiates itself from other similar chairs due to its rate of flatness that’s comparable to beds and energy pods.

Laying Down Chair The perpendicular flat bed that allows white collar employees to take a power nap during the day.

The idea behind this is to get lighter and restorative non-REM sleep that is not disruptive to the daily schedule.

The drawback is that it is only shipped from this Japanese website where it can be ordered, if only you can only comprehend the language or find somebody to help. It is shipped unassembled for $600 U.S. dollars and weighs 48.5 lbs when assembled.

The Japanese website has other comfortable chairs on sale, too. There’s a standing desk and a chair attached to handles with two elastic bands to exercise arms kept in sedentary positions from time to time.

There are other varieties of office chairs available online for similar purposes, such as ones available on Amazon (here and here) at a price range between $100 to $600 U.S. dollars. However, the Lay Flat Office Chair is one of kind thanks to its unique flatness.

Larger companies have already adopted the idea. Google Inc, Huffington Post, White and Case, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Mercedes-Benz are five organizations known to have installed energy pods to help employees take a quick power nap. It helps increase their overall positivity and productivity.

Meanwhile, here are four steps to nap effectively in the workplace:

Set an alarm: Set an alarm for 20 minutes, to wake up feeling restful and ready to be more productive. Do not sleep for 30-60 minutes, as that makes one more drowsy. So, a 90-minute nap would serve to put into effect the whole sleep cycle.

Maximize efficiency: Switch off your phone or set it to silent mode. Cover your head and face with a sleep mask to avoid ambient noise and light. Keep a distance from the noise made by colleagues. Words of caution issued by doctors include not sleeping in bright spaces as it can cause headaches and not taking naps if you are dealing with insomnia-related problems since this could get worse.

Time is right: Instead of using caffeine to stay awake post-lunch, taking a nap once the blood-sugar level drops is more conducive to productivity.

Get into action: Send a message to your brain and body that it is time to jump back into work, take a brisk walk, splash some water on your face and get back to work.

Thrive Global Pod An 'energy pod' is seen at the company Thrive Global, in New York, on May 10, 2018, which Thrive Global employees can use to take a nap. - In New York, HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)