An Insomniac's Guide to Casper's Dreamery

If ever I were able to nap, it would be in a spaceship.

I’m a chronic insomniac. I don’t remember the last time I slept enough or got anything resembling quality sleep. I was excited to visit Casper Mattress’ new NYC napping space, called the Dreamery, but doubted I’d be able to nap. As terrible as I am at sleeping soundly through the night, I’m even worse at napping. My body rejects naps like poison. Still, I’m on the hunt for any solution to my inability to relax. So when I heard about the Dreamery, I had to try it. I expected to spend my 45 minute-long Dreamery session in peaceful but still wide awake relaxation.

Casper, the mattress advertised on NYC subways and in all my favorite podcasts, arrives on doorsteps in a box and claims to revolutionize your sleep. Their new Dreamery napping space is in New York City’s trendy SoHo district. At $25 for a 45 minute session, it’s not for the tightest budget. But it’s a fun idea, especially for a city as stressful and hectic as New York.

When I walked in, the cheerful staff greeted me warmly. Despite my distaste for the word “jammies,” I quickly forgave the young woman who offered them and I took her up on her offer. When she asked “small, medium or large,” I legitimately thought she meant what size of sleeping pod would I like.

I needed a nap.

I took my (ugh) jammies and changed in their bathroom. They gave me a little bag of amenities at the front desk. Amenities. I love amenities. Who doesn’t? The bag included three different skin brightening serums, which seems like an aggressive amount. I didn’t want to ruin my makeup, so I didn’t rub any serum into my skin. Am I doing relaxation wrong?

After putting my backpack and street clothes in a locker, I strolled into the room containing the napping pods and greeted the nice lady working the desk with a rousing “hey there!” She motioned for me to come back out with her into the antichamber so she could give me the spiel, the rules of the nap room. Those rules were mainly “don’t talk.”

She led me to my pod, an orb with heavy gray curtains in the front that form a triangle shape when you part them. The whole room is dark and full of these pods, while white noise permeates the air. It reminds me of science fiction for kids, if that exists. Like picture books with spaceships and aliens. When I climb in my pod, I feel like I’m sleeping on the moon.

The bedding is crisp and white. Casper is a mattress company, so it would be unfortunate if they got the sleep surface wrong. They don’t, though. The mattress inside the pod makes me feel like I’m floating in a spaceship. I was surprised and relieved to see the pod included WiFi and a power outlet. Sleep experts say electronic devices are bad for your sleep but I need my smartphone. I was happy the Dreamery let me be me and didn’t try to force me to comply with proper sleep hygiene. After all, any decent spaceship has electricity and internet.

After I settled in and turned off the light, it got dark. Like, very dark. The kind of dark you can’t achieve in a New York City apartment unless you buy the heaviest blackout curtains available.

Roughly five minutes later, I couldn’t sleep. I turned the light back on and looked around my cute pod. I felt like I was on a different planet, which is basically like dreaming so I might as well have been napping.

I had to fart but was afraid of making noise.

I closed my eyes and tried to meditate for a bit since I couldn’t sleep. It didn’t work but I pat myself on the back for trying. I opened my phone and played some phone games. I might be doing this wrong but I don’t think anyone is going to tattle on me. I also put my phone on silent and airplane mode while playing, to prevent any surprising sound alerts and to make up for being so loud when I entered the pod room.

To ensure you don’t go over your allotted time, the lights in your pod slowly come on after your 45 minutes are up. I got 47 minutes, so I’m glad the woman from the desk didn’t hate me. I got up, collected myself and ask her if she would take my picture. She did; she’s very nice.

As I’m changing back into my clothes, I realize I neglected to close my changing room curtains and left my naked butt fully visible. I didn’t worry, thinking that it’ll fit right in with all the other large white orbs here. I go to the bathroom for a post-relaxation pee. I also finally let that fart out. It’s good I didn’t let it out in the pod because it was an aggressive one.

All in all, I can’t imagine regularly stopping at the Dreamery. It’s lovely but let’s be honest, if I’m in SoHo (the NYC neighborhood it lives in), I’m probably rushing to finish my shopping or get to an appointment. It would be good for tourists with gaps in their sightseeing schedules. Nevertheless, it was a very peaceful experience and in New York, that’s all you can ask for.