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Nine Reasons Why You Should Nap at Work

Career News March 22, 2013

Number One: Exhaustion

There is not a single person who has not fallen asleep from exhaustion at the office on one occasion or another, either their desk or on the conference room couch during the middle of the day. In 2009, a report by the Pew Research Center revealed that one in three adults surveyed had taken a nap at work during the previous day. While doctors recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night, the majority of working Americans get less than six hours of sleep.

Number Two: Americans Working Longer, Getting Less Done

No other country in the industrial world has longer working hours than the United States. About one in five adults admit to being so sleepy that their daily activities are adversely affected. About eighty-five percent of women in their thirties have reported that they are chronically exhausted implying that despite working long hours, our productivity is less than optimal.

Number Three: Drowsy While Driving is Dangerous

About 100,000 car crashes take place every year in the United States caused by drowsy drivers. People who commute to work can reduce their accidental risk by taking a short nap, but getting a full night’s rest before driving is ideal. Experts advise individuals who feel tired before commuting to take a “caffeine nap.” You should drink a caffeinated beverage, recline your seat, and sleep for twenty minutes, then wake up, and you should be ready to go.

Number Four: Getting Sleep is Better Than Drinking Coffee

A majority of individuals depend on artificial stimulants to help them get through the day; those who work full-time drink three cups of coffee or soda daily. While caffeine improves concentration and alertness, its effects, if any, on higher cognitive functions like memory and learning are debatable. If you really want to recharge your mind during the day, then what you need is to take a nap. Those who work the grave yard shift will have a beneficial effect by consuming caffeinate drinks and taking naps. The nap-and-caffeine cocktail enhance performance and alertness during hours when the body is naturally inclined to sleep.

Number Five: Naps are Beneficial

Napping is an age-old tradition. In a majority of countries, employees still take a siesta during mid-day. Research has shown that sleepiness during the afternoon is part of the body’s natural rhythm, and it is not just a response to a heavy lunch. All of us agree that sleeping is great, but does it help our brains? The answer is YES! National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research have determined that a twenty-six minutes nap can improve workplace performance by thirty-four percent. Daytime sleeping enhances focus, creativity, and mood, all of which will make us better employees.

Number Six – Companies Support Napping at Work

Here is a list of companies that have shunned the stereotype of the lazy napper and they have implemented napping into their corporate culture.

Lipper Taylor – This is a New York public relations agency that has Serenity Rooms outfitted with cozy chairs, blankets, and large sofas (Blackberry and cell phones are not welcome).
Yarde Metals – A Connecticut-based metal distributor and manufacturer, has a corporate leisure room with a waterfall along with four smaller rooms equipped with leather recliners for their employees to stretch out twenty to thirty minutes at a time.
Gould Evans Goodman Associates – A Kansas City architecture firm that provides “spent tents” equipped with alarm clocks, blankets, and pillows.
Zappos.com – Provide couches for their employees to take naps in the “quiet room.” Previously, there were napping pods, but employees requested to use couches instead, so they have the change.
Google – Allow their employees to sleep inside individual napping pods.
Nike – The company that urges everyone to “just do it,” provide relaxation rooms where its employees can periodically do the opposite.

Number Seven – Naps are Perfect Medicine

An individual can actually become healthier and happier due to napping. According to a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, individuals who take twenty minutes power nap three times a week will decrease their chances of getting heart disease by thirty-seven percent. Along with exercising and dieting, you should make napping part of your wellness regimen.

Number Eight – Naps Improve the Economy

American companies lose $150 billion every year due to employee absences, health care costs and lost productivity. Many companies try to reduce errors and accidents by allowing employees to take short naps during the workday, and claim that it is worth the slight shorter workday because it helps enhance the company’s overall productivity. You should go grab a comfy blanket and pillow to start improving your company’s bottom line!

Number Nine – Napping at Work is a Growing Trend

It is slowly becoming popular to take naps at your workplace. According to the survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, thirty-four percent of workers in the United States claims that their workplace allows them to take naps during work breaks; sixteen percent of workers reported that their employer provide them with a place to take naps. Companies that usually allow employees to take naps include those that require employees to work the late shift along with the ones where it requires employees to work long hours.

Although sleeping at the workplace is slowly rising, a majority of companies are not open to the idea. The visual of people laying around conference rooms and taking naps does not bold well with management. For many of us, the concept of taking naps at work feels risky, given today’s precarious job market. Should the boss check in on us, we will rather be seen diligently typing, and not drooling on the keyboard.

With many employees napping at work – hovering over keyboards and slumped against the walls – shouldn’t we start calling a spade a spade? People who are tired will sleep, crouch behind the copy machine if needed. Companies like Zappos.com and Google who face this reality and do not stigmatize their employees for being exhausted are well positioned to attract the best talent moving forward.

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