By Ken Hegan for MSN

Exhausted by jet lag or this insidious switch to Daylight Savings?

If you’re in Tokyo this week (and have a matching pair of XX chromosomes), drag your sleepy butt to the Qusca Sleeping Cafe.

This new crash pad opened in Tokyo’s Akasaka business district in December and it’s pretty special. Sure, Tokyo has other snooze salons, but only women are allowed inside Qusca.


News you can snooze


SleepIMG_2319_2The Qusca Sleeping Cafe charges ladies 150 yen ($1.60 CDN) for 10 minutes of sleep in a bed with a white net overhead that looks like mosquito netting. If you buy a 4-hour slot, it’s even more affordable (3,120 yen, or $33).

So what can you expect? Well, you’ll smell peaceful, soothing aromas to help you drift off and get the most out of your sleep. There are free snacks, drinks, and wi-fi. There’s an area for you to refresh your makeup. Perhaps best of all, there won’t be any dudes or handsome princes to ogle or hassle you. And if you still have trouble nodding off, they’ll make you watch The Hobbit.*

To keep you from oversleeping, Qusca’s staff will give you a gentle wake-up call on special earphones. The cafe opens at 11 am each morning and, depending on demand (and whether the staff can stay awake that late), may stay open after 7 pm.

What are the benefits? According to the cafe’s website (which is in both Japanese and English and boasts cute cartoon sheep), a nap in their facilities will raise your efficiency by up to 20%. Which is pretty damn stellar.

BedIMG_2990It’s certainly a sleepy world we live in, and one that’s particularly tough on women. A U.S. study by the National Sleep Foundation found that women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep, and women experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few times a week.

The dangers? Too little sleep results in “daytime sleepiness, increased accidents, problems concentrating, poor performance on the job and in school, and possibly, increased sickness and weight gain.”

Hence the need for the Qusca Sleeping Cafe. It’s certainly an ideal place for women to grab a power nap in the middle of frenzied sight-seeing or a hectic work day…something Japanese know all too well. While us lazy North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans are loafing around and checking Facebook, Japanese people are literally working themselves to an early grave.

Alas, as William notes on Japan Trends, your nap will boost productivity but will do “little to improve the Japanese working culture, the insane beast that gave birth to a new word, karoshi (death by overwork).”

What do you think? If a sleeping cafe opened in your city, would you sneak a few winks in the afternoon?

— Ken Hegan  

* speculation

Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

Photos via Qusca Sleeping Cafe