Tired Londoners rent sleep pods for some zzz’s

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Graeme Daniel, a regular user of Pop & Rest places a sleep eye mask on as he sits in one of the pods, allowing workers and travellers a place to rent by the hour to relax and rest in Shoreditch, London, Britain, September 18, 2018. Melville REUTERS/Toby

LONDON (Reuters) – Exhausted Londoners hoping to take a rest from their busy schedules are being offered an alternative to coffee breaks: a sleep pod where they can grab some shut-eye for £15 ($20) an hour.

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Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, Pop & Rest in London’s trendy Shoreditch area boasts four “sleep pods” – rooms with dark walls and a lavender aroma to aid relaxation, each supplied with ear plugs and an eye mask.

Mauricio Villamizar, 28, said he and his Pop & Rest co-founder Yoann Demont came up with the idea for their venture after observing Londoners’ hectic lifestyle and long working hours.

“You could see they were tired all the time and just with coffee and tea wasn’t enough, so we thought we should set up something like a private space where they can relax in peace,” he said.

According to Villamizar, Pop & Rest currently averages between 30-35 customers a week, among them many freelancers and people working in the gig economy.

Graeme Daniel is a director of a fashion company and has visited Pop & Rest several times since it opened in June this year.

The 58-year-old says that the pods are helpful to catch up on sleep after a late night followed by a busy working day.

“If I go out late in the evening and I’ve got maybe meetings spread throughout the day, it’s just nice to have one hour catch up on the sleep that I’ve probably missed the night before,” he said.

“What can you get for 15 pounds in Central London, you know, you have a lunch… So 15 pounds to have a decent rest and clear mind for the afternoon or for a meeting late on in the day is perfect as far as I’m concerned,” he added.

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