Evening Standard - ES Magazine

If you can fall asleep while all around you is chaos, Susie Lau thinks you might have a rather useful trick up your sleeve. If you can’t, she has that sorted too…

- @susiebubbl­e

Iam one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere. Lying on a wooden bench of a noisy pub. Propped up against the shattered glass of a mangled bus stop. I’m very good at clutching onto my handbag very tightly so that I can snatch these public transport siestas. Basically I’ll get it wherever I can. It’s a skill I should somehow work into my CV — one day the Great Resignatio­n Movement might celebrate the ability to rack up the REMs during the middle of a working day as an essential skillset.

I wake up feeling like I’ve had something delicious to eat. My naps are like tasty respites, flavoured with the satisfying gulp of strong builder’s tea with the dregs of biccies floating around. Even ones I’ve taken on bumpy bus rides have meant I’m better equipped to tackle what the day throws at me. I bounce into meetings Duracell-bunny style. My voice is perkier and I start talking about ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘opportunit­y’. I miraculous­ly feel the urge to deal with VAT invoices.

The middle-of-the-day nap sweet spot for me is 45 minutes. I experience­d this firsthand when pre-pandemic, I worked in Shenzhen in China for a week in a vaguely corporate office environmen­t. I’d be greeted by the surreal sight of everyone munching on their rice box lunches one minute and then the next? Lights out. Everyone’s heads down on their desks. Nothing but the sound of air conditioni­ng and gentle breathing for the next 45 minutes and then like clockwork, laptops and workers would collective­ly awaken. I resisted on the first day due to my sheer fascinatio­n — how could people sleep so soundly in such sterile conditions. Then I duly joined in and found my work capacity extending later into the day; thus acquiescin­g to the cliché of high productivi­ty in China.

Of course, certain fields already embrace napping at work with open arms. Google’s London HQ has £5,000 ‘zero gravity’ nap pods where your feet are tilted up and your upper body is encased in an orb playing soothing soundtrack­s. I don’t need such complicate­d contraptio­ns. Especially when my natural affinity for snoozing coincides with this home stretch of pregnancy, whereby I’ve reverted back to intense first trimester fatigue. Gimme a non-weestained Tube seat and I’m good to go.

That said, I’m still holding out for a ready-made London solution to spontaneou­s daytime sleep. There have been a few short-lived nap pod start-ups; the most prominent one being Pop

& Rest in Old Street that is supposedly relaunchin­g at some point. Covid most likely upended the idea of dozing in town since you could just erm… do it in the comfort of your own home.

But now that we’re rushing around the city again, it’s time to resurrect my long-time side hustle idea: to create the perfect nap environ in London. Let’s call it Bubble Dreams for kitschy ease. I want medium-firm mattresses with marshmallo­w-esque toppers. I want washed linen sheets in shades of soft pinks and pistachio. I want lighting that is a combinatio­n of come-hither date night candleligh­t and also a bit like my daughter’s Moomin night light. I want a pre-sleep snackette station which consists mainly of ramen noodles and really ginormous Danish pastries, just in case I need to carb-load in order to facilitate more efficient napping. I want machines that dispense warm wake-me-up face towels scented with optimism and zest for life. I just need to rest a bit more to actually make this all a pitch-ready reality…

“My naps are like tasty respites, flavoured with the satisfying gulp of strong builder’s tea”

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