Quiet Destinations

It’s 3 P.M. … Have You Taken Your YeloNap Today?

[photo] Yelo?s specially designed chairs

Yelo’s specially designed chairs fully recline to
raise your legs and slow your heart rate.

When I first heard about Yelo a few weeks after it opened in New York City last spring, my first thought was, “Why would anyone pay for a nap?” What you discover quickly, however, is that this is not your kindergarten-variety quiet time. Yelo offers high-tech relaxation therapy based on the latest sleep science, and you’d have to be on a bushel of amphetamines and a bucket of caffeine not to succumb.

In fact, about two minutes after I entered my sleek “napping pod” and plunked myself down on the cozy, custom recliner, Yelo had me hooked. The friendly attendant was describing the features of my private relaxation cabin explaining the method behind Yelo’s mellow madness, but I could hardly concentrate. I felt drowsy. After another minute, I wanted her to stop talking so I could surrender to my sinking eyelids and doze off. And here’s the weird thing—it was morning, and I wasn’t tired, and I’m not really a nap person!

[photo] Yelo's hexagonal napping pods

Owner Nic Ronco designed the hexagonal
napping pods to mimic the honeycomb in
beehives – a beautiful, strong, natural shape.

My 20-minute nap that day was so utterly refreshing, I wanted to learn everything I could about Yelo’s napping secrets, and arranged for an interview with owner Nicolas Ronco. It turns out that Nic shares my FPQ philosophy, particularly regarding the importance of slowing down, creating a balanced lifestyle, and finding ways to rest and recharge naturally. Nic knows more about the rejuvenating power of napping than the Sandman and he can quote from reams of scientific evidence about the benefits of daily naps, including increased productivity, mental alertness, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being. He is particularly fond of citing a 2007 Harvard Study that concludes that people who take a nap three times a week for an average of 20 minutes reduce their rate of heart disease and heart attack by 37%.

[photo] FPQ?s Allan Ishac napping

It took FPQ’s Allan Ishac less than 30 seconds
to fully appreciate the benefits of Yelo.

Recently Nic shared these revelations: “Drowsiness on the job costs U.S. businesses an incredible 18 billion dollars a year in lost productivity. Corporations and individuals now understand that sleep therapy, of which napping is part, actually increases performance and alertness while decreasing stress. A 20-minute power nap can help a person maintain their alertness all day long.”

Before opening Yelo, Nic spent several years studying the culture of napping in other countries where afternoon snoozes are commonplace (you’ve heard of the siesta?), and decided that America needed to reacquaint itself with this sanity-saving practice. The result is his specially designed YeloCabs — virtually soundproof, honeycomb-shaped sleep pods. A soft recliner surrounds you like a beige leather cocoon, elevating your legs for a feeling of weightlessness that slows your heart rate. You customize the colors of the unique LED lighting system to wake you from your slumber with soothing, simulated daylight, and select from a choice of calming music or soporific environmental soundtracks. The effect is magical and immediate — like mainlining melatonin with no risks or side effects.

Yelo has added other services that enhance the napping experience, including reflexology treatments — a kind of soothing massage to the feet, hands and ears performed in the chair with clothes on. The rates are reasonable, too. A new service from Yelo called Nap Plus combines a 10-minute neck and head massage with a 20-minute nap, all for $30. You simply cannot stay awake during a Nap Plus session.

[photo] FPQ's Allan Ishac awakening

When the nap is over, you’re awakened with a soft,
modulated light that suggests sunrise.

So what about my original question, why would anyone pay for a nap? Besides the fact that the Yelo napping experience really is unique, Nic also told me about a couple who visit his wellness center regularly, always together, simply to take a nap. Seems they have a newborn at home who is an awful sleeper and frequently keeps them up at night. They visit Yelo faithfully each week for the peace and quiet, to recharge, and to regulate their erratic sleep patterns — something they can’t do in their apartment. 

Nic shared another story about a hyperactive 11-year old boy from the Midwest with severe ADD and behavioral problems. He saw a piece about Yelo on TV this summer and told his parents, “I need to go there.” The father happened to be on business in the city frequently and brought his son to Yelo. The parents reported that after several sessions, and a follow-up napping regimen incorporated at home, the boy had far fewer episodes of anger and outbursts, and was performing better in school. “Parents don’t realize that so many behavioral problems facing children today are simply a result of being severely sleep deprived,” Nic says.

[photo] Nic and Allan try to decide who naps next

Nic and Allan try to decide who naps next.

If you’re in New York City for business or pleasure, please arrange a visit to Yelo and tell them you’re a friend of FPQ. A short nap here before theater night or a big meeting will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated. Whoever said, “you snooze, you lose,” has never been to Yelo.

315 West 57th St., bet. 8th and 9th Aves.
(212) 245-8235

Now you can book sessions online at the Yelo website: www.yelonyc.com