There's A “Napercise” Gym Class For Parents

by Josie Rhodes Cook

In news that isn't of the political or world-influencing event variety, a gym in the United Kingdom is reportedly offering napping classes for adults who don't sleep enough. Yes, that's correct. A class for napping. The 60-minute class at a David Lloyd Clubs location starts and ends "with a series of tension-releasing stretches, and promises a solid 45 minutes of uninterrupted sleep." This frankly genius idea is called Napercise, a gym class for parents to help them learn how to nap better.

Mashable reported that the class is supposed to "reinvigorate the mind, improve moods, and even burn the odd calorie." Whoever came up with the class seems to think all those things can be done in 60-minute time spans, which seems pretty ambitious. But is it really so ridiculous? Is it so hard to believe that people who have an issue getting enough sleep — like, say, parents — might not want to learn how to get the most out of a good nap session if they can snag some time for it?

In fact, according to research from the University of California, Berkeley, an hour-long nap "can dramatically boost and restore your brain power," according to Berkeley News. In that study, participants who napped before being given a learning task did notably better, and the nap actually improved their capacity to learn as compared to the participants who did not nap. Improved brain power would probably be a plus to most multitasking parents.

The gym will give every participant their own bed, blanket, and eye mask, according to Mashable. A trial run of the Napercise classes will be held this weekend at the David Lloyd venue in Sidcup, according to that site. And apparently, if the classes are successful, the gyms will consider introducing Napercise classes at their other clubs across the U.K.

According to The Independent, the fitness group decided to launch the Napercise class after research showed that 86 percent of parents reported they were fatigued. That publication reported that, while the class is mostly aimed at parents, those without children are allowed to take part as well.

The Independent reported that the class will take place in the mid-afternoon, and features "'atmospheric' sounds and a temperature that promotes calorie burning during sleep." Kathryn Pinkham, a sleep expert at Dreams who collaborated with David Lloyd on the project, told the publication:

Sleep is a lot more important than people realise. We tend to focus on the short-term effects such as being tired or lacking concentration but it is also essential for our long-term physical and mental wellbeing too.

"Long-term physical and mental wellbeing" sounds pretty great, and would likely appeal to parents who have a long haul of raising kids ahead of them.

Speaking of long-term wellness, according to a study from the Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, participants who took a 45-minute nap in the middle of their day managed stress better than those who did not get a nap in. Stress is another factor a lot of parents deal with, and finding ways to tackle it more effectively couldn't hurt, right? Why not with naps?

Time Out London reported that, according to research done by David Lloyd's, 26 percent of parents regularly get less than five hours of sleep at night. That's a lot of parents who don't sleep much. Sound familiar? Maybe a Napercise class isn't such a silly idea after all, huh?

Since the class is only in one location for now — and even if it expands, it will probably only be in the United Kingdom — others who have no chance to attend might have to sneak in some "napercise" of their own at home. Planning in a nap is easier said than done for most parents, but if it can be done, it sounds like it can lead to some great benefits. Get to napping, world.