Need a good night’s sleep on the road? Stick your head in the sand

Deborah Hopewell

There's nothing worse than trying to snag a quick catnap on a plane or while sitting in the airport only to find yourself bleary-eyed and jetlagged. How can you get a good sleep with all the noise and lights?

Fortunately, design firm Kawamura-Ganjavian has a solution — as long as you don't mind looking a little ridiculous.

The Ostrich Pillow attempts to create a closed nap environment, much like an ostrich sticking its head in the ground. The astronaut-looking pillow slips on over your head, leaving a hole for your mouth and nose, thankfully, and two holes for your hands. It's "designed to allow you to create a little private space within a public one, to relax and unwind," reads the product description.

Stuffed with synthetic material to block out sound, light, and, hopefully, provide some comfort, the Ostrich Pillow can be used in trains, planes or automobiles, swear the creators. They spent the last year testing the pillow and promise that it works, though they don't say what response they got from the people around them.

"All you have to do so is choose a place to nap, slip into your Ostrich Pillow and you're set to go," they say.
The pillow can be used by anyone whose head has a perimeter smaller than 70 cm. (or just over 2 feet around). And it is not recommended for use in the bath — probably for more than one reason.

Kawamura-Ganjavian (the last names of the two founders) is an architecture design firm, with offices in Madrid and Lausanne, known for its odd and distinctive products. They've also developed a toothbrush with a syringe-style toothpaste holder inside the brush — handy for travelers, a sound-enhancing shell that goes over your ear, and a solar micro-charger for computers.

Though the Ostrich Pillow has been in development for the last year, it only recently became available via Kickstarter. Kawamura-Ganjavian is attempting to raise $70,000 by Oct. 18 on Kickstarter, through crowd-sourced funding from small backers, in order to go into production on the pillow. As of Sept. 25, $56,273 had been raised.

A pledge of just $60 would get you a pillow, but unfortunately the $60 level is all sold-out. So, you'll have to pay $75 for your own helmet-like pillow or $140 for two. Or, you could always opt to just lie down in the middle of the floor wherever you are — it might give you less of a crink in the neck.

But, what if someone thinks you're lazy for napping? Assuming they can even tell that's what you're doing.

Fortunately, the creators have an answer for that too. According to a number of studies, a simple 20-minute power nap increases productivity by more than 30%. You aren't resting, you're working harder.