By Kate Mercier
We’re here with Yawn Yawnson — author, motivational sleeper, on the cover of the current issues of Tired You and Fading magazines — to talk about his exciting new collaboration with Nectar: Awaken Great Sleep.
Nectar: Hello, Yawn. Is it alright if I call you Yawn?
Yawn Yawnson: Of course. You may also yawn as you say my name.
Nectar: I’ll try that. I know you’re on a tight schedule to get to your midmorning nap, so I’ll just jump into it: Leader. Visionary. Dreamer. Savant. Guru.
Yawn: Mm … those are all words.
Nectar: They are, yes. All words that have been used to describe you, Yawn. Tell me, which words would YOU use to describe yourself?
Yawn: Well, that’s very flattering. But I’m just a guy who found something I was good at and discovered a way to do it for the rest of my life. And that thing is sleeping. I want to awaken great sleep for everyone on a Nectar mattress. That’s my mission.
Nectar: Unfortunately, there are people who don’t believe in your movement. In an op-ed for Wide Awake Quarterly, one critic described you as a “slumber-slinging charlatan.” The techno DJ and barista communities have been quite vocal in their dissent, likening what you do to a “scam” and a ”sleep cult.” If your critics were here right now, what might you say to them?
Yawn: You know, some people don’t understand us, so they try to box us in. But the only box we identify with is a Nectar mattress-in-a-box. It’s a shame my detractors won’t close their eyes and open their minds to the benefits of amazing, restorative sleep. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a way to reach them and bring them into the Bed Head movement.
Nectar: You can’t mean … revolutionizing night-owl culture? Many have tried. How would you do it?
Yawn: I’ll tell you: Sleep—during the day. A great mattress, like Nectar, should theoretically work just as well during the day as it does at night. All it takes is an eye mask and a couple of earplugs, and day sleepers can be Bed Heads, as well. We’re ready to blow the lid right off the whole day- vs.-night thing.
Nectar: That sounds exciting! Population and survey analysts say that there are ten times as many Bed Heads than people living in the state of Nevada. Do you credit that success to your recent presence at Burning Man?
Yawn: Ah, yes. Our Napland tent at Burning Man — with air conditioners, humidifiers, comfy jammies, and Nectar mattresses — saw almost 500,000 naps during the festival. We had folks who were napping five, six times a day. It was our first time on the playa, and let me tell you: Those folks need their naps. And they need real mattresses. Otherwise, “Burning Man” is more like “Tossing and Turning, Man.” Some Burners reportedly stayed in Napland the entire time. Or so I’m told. I slept through most of the event. We’re looking into holding our own Bed Head festival, hopefully, in a continued partnership with Nectar.
Nectar: Exciting! Let’s shift gears: Although your recent books get the most attention — one of which, Stop Cheating on Sleep, received this review from the NYT: “This put me to sleep immediately”—
Yawn: High praise. That’s going on the dust jacket for the third reprint.
Nectar: Nice. So, although “Stop Cheating on Sleep” and “Power Nap” get the bulk of the accolades, it’s only deep sleep-culture insiders who know of your revolutionary out-of-print chapbook: “Namastay in Bed: How Sleeping Through 90 Days of Early Yoga Classes Saved My Life.” Copies are hard to come by, but the lucky few who have read it reportedly found it life-changing. I, personally, loved it.
Yawn: Oh, I’m glad it spoke to you. (prayer hands) The sleeper in me bows to the sleeper in you. That book captured a pivotal moment for me. After my high-stress, low-sleep lifestyle flattened me, before Power Nap was even on the bestseller list, folks tried to help by recommending everything from yoga to essential oils to whale songs. Someone even suggested a chakra readjustment! But what I really needed was good sleep, and lots of it. Voila: 90 days of sleeping through early morning yoga classes. That kind of discipline was tough to master at first — the habit of getting out of bed is so ingrained in our culture — but when I finally surrendered to an intensive nap regimen, when I let go of alarms, it was only then that I discovered how to unhustle my life. That’s when I started the quietest revolution.
Yawn: Plus, as it turns out, I can do the savasana pose the whole time I’m in bed, so it’s a real win-win.
Nectar: Thank you so much for your time. Before we wrap up, do you have any advice for your fans, the Bed Heads?
Yawn: Of course. My advice, as always: Go to sleep, immediately.