MetroNaps' Christopher Lindholst Interview

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Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

As NSF's SleepTech program continues to grow, we thought it would be appropriate to share some insights with one of the industry’s first leaders, Christopher Lindholst , CEO and Co-Founder of MetroNaps.

 

Founded in 2003, and based on the then “crazy idea” of encouraging workers to sleep on the job, the company developed its signature EnergyPod, widely recognized as the world’s first chair expressly designed to encourage napping in the workplace. Today, EnergyPods are ubiquitous at leading companies, universities, and health care facilities across the globe.

 

Christopher currently serves as the SleepTech Council’s Chair. He describes himself as the “biggest cheerleader” for the organization and for the industry as a whole.

 

Looking back 15 years ago, where did you think the sleep technology space was going?

At the time, what we saw was a real need for sleep among real human beings. We weren’t really thinking about the industry as a whole, but more specifically on what kind of sleep solution could we provide employees so they would be happier, healthier, and more productive.

 

How receptive were people to the idea?

In the beginning, it was really quite varied. As is somewhat the case today, the work culture was one that placed a stigma on napping. Now, we knew from our research -- and our own personal experiences -- that exhausted employees would sneak away for a quick cat nap in the midst of long workdays. So, the emphasis became on educating employers about the value of sleep. 

 

Compare attitudes in 2018 to back then?

They’re definitely changing for the better. To a large degree it’s generational, I believe. Members of the Millennial generation are much more aware of their need for balance and of the benefits of a quick, restorative nap during a long workday. To them there’s no stigma and no shame in grabbing 40 winks. 

 

It’s sort of the inverse of attitudes toward smoking indoors, perhaps?

Absolutely. An older generation of workers smoked on the job. It took decades for that behavior to be frowned upon. And now, of course,

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