Should You Try Napping During the Workday?
19 April, 2017
You might have heard of what can sound initially like a strange trend taking hold in some workplaces around the world: mid-day napping on the job.
Even just a decade ago the thought of falling asleep on the job would have probably seemed ridiculous to most people, but now employers are embracing it. Some are even going as far as to have power napping rooms designated in the office.
It should be noted that when we talk about napping, we're not talking about a three-hour snooze-fest. Instead, we're talking about a brief 20 to 30-minute break to recharge.
Whether your workplace is for quick daytime naps, or you work at home or are self-employed, and you wonder whether or not a short nap is the right thing for you, think about some of the following facts about adult naps.
NASA scientists found that people who nap for just 26 minutes can see significant benefits including increased productivity. If you're lagging in the energy department and you find that you're having trouble focusing on the task at hand, a speedy nape might give you a new sense of resolve to power through your workload.
It would be difficult to envision you don't already know the potential negative health impacts that can come with not getting enough sleep. You struggle not just in areas like cognition and concentration, but lacking in the sleep department can also cause you to gain weight and be at a higher risk for certain serious health problems.
So what about napping and your health?
One study of more than 23,000 Greek men that took place over six years found that those participants who napped three times per week had a 37% lower chance of dying from heart disease.
Other health effects that have been shown to come from regular napping include reduced stress levels, increased mood and memory, help losing weight, and a lower risk of a heart attack.
If you're sitting at your desk and struggling to remember the next word you need to type in an email, you might need a quick 20 to 30-minute nap.
Studies have shown that when people nap, it can help them in how they take in and retain information. In research studies, memory has often been shown to improve for people who napped versus didn't when being presented with information.
There's a lot of attention given to the concept of burnout in the workplace, particularly in America where employees tend to work long hours with little time for relaxation. You may not be able to take a vacation as often as you like, but a nap can help prevent burnout.
Often if you're starting to feel burnout creeping up on you, a nap can relieve stress and let you restart.
If you're at work or sitting at your computer feeling your emerging waning, consider closing your mini blinds or curtains and taking a quick nap. You'll not only gain benefits listed like the ones above, but you would be in good company with figures like Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy who consistently napped during the day, among many other of history's most pivotal leaders and influencers.