TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Millions of Americans would love the ability to take a nap in the middle of their work day. Now, there’s a place for rest and relaxation in downtown Tampa providing just that.

“The whole concept of Nap Pod is to provide a place for you to come to relax and decompress. To relieve your anxiety, your stress, to take care of your mental state, if you will,” Nap Pod founder and CEO Scott Chester said. “To help your physical and mental wellness. That is the point and that is the goal of Nap Pod.”

Chester’s background is in IT and he saw use of these “pods” – with chairs that move into a relaxing position – used at companies such as Google and Zappos. The pods are meant for 20 “power naps” during the day to keep employees happy, functional and productive.

Chester began talking with other employees and realized there was no place for the general population to go to have a place to relax for a few minutes out of the day.

“So it had me thinking. At home with my fiancé, she has a daughter that has autism. So to help her sleep at night, we started doing lavender and ambient sounds to help her sleep. And it works,” he said. “And I was thinking to myself, ‘what if we combined that with the pods to help people fall asleep and relax faster, versus going to the pod and it takes a minute to fall asleep.’ That made me think of starting the company.” 

Nap Pod just opened in September and is located at 412 East Madison Street.

Chester said it’s not about falling asleep during the day, it’s about relaxing to help you be productive throughout the day and to help your mental state no matter what you go through in your day-to-day life.

“You carry around that stress and you hope you go to bed at night and just, everything goes away. It does not happen that way. The human body needs time to get breaks during the day, aside from at night.” 

When guests walk into Nap Pod, they enter Chester’s lounge about 10 minutes before their appointment time, if they choose.

The lounge features natural plants, seating to watching relaxing videos of the ocean and mountain ranges with ambient sound. Chester uses two air purifiers at once to keep the air, which is also scented, clean.

His two rooms containing one pod each are scented with lavender and sandalwood and soft lights dancing on the walls and ceiling.

A guest hits a button on the pod, which leans them back into a relaxed state, which means their knees are above their heart, according to Chester.

The chair will be leaned back for 20 minutes. After that, lights will come on, the seat will vibrate and the music inside will get louder to wake a person up.

One session at Nap Pod costs $16.05, which includes fees and tax. Chester also offers a monthly pass for $240.75. Appointments must be booked online.

Nap Pod has safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each pod is wiped down with disinfectant before and after each visit, each pod has disinfectant wipes for customer use and each room has an air purifier.