You know that after lunch slump? When it’s 2 pm and you’ve looked at the clock four times in the last minute? Ugh. It would be so convenient if you could take a quick nap then get back to work. So why don’t you?
We get it, napping at work is a taboo topic. But it shouldn’t be! Rather than view sleeping on the job as slacking off, it should be viewed as a productivity booster. If we’re all being honest, no one’s getting anything done when we’re hit with daytime drowsiness.
Humans are biphasic, meaning we are built for one long sleep and one short sleep, according to SBS. Corporations, such as Zappos, Nike, Google, and Uber recognise the benefits of on-site napping and provide employees with nap pods, nap rooms, quiet rooms, and hanging hammocks. Jealous? Don’t be! Vouch for it in your own office. Here’s why napping at work is a good thing.
Benefits of napping
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, four out of every ten Aussies are suffering from inadequate sleep. (Geez, people, get some shut-eye!) The SHF found that this lack of sleep is seriously getting in the way of work performance (the report dives deeper into how poor sleep costs the Australian government billions of dollars each year — but we’ll save that topic for another time).
Studies show that the benefits of napping include improvements in alertness, productivity, memorization, and creativity. It also reduces stress. We see you nodding your head in agreement!
Napping improves memorization and learning.
Research from Saarland University in Germany found that short naps boost associative memory, meaning it can help you remember links between unrelated items. The same research found that a longer nap (40 to 50 minutes) gives the brain time to consolidate practical information.
Aha! Napping may actually help you remember what your boss said in that 9:30 am meeting!
The study leader explained that a short nap in the office or in school is enough to significantly improve learning success. He urges people to think seriously about the positive effects of sleeping. Our pre-school teachers were definitely onto the whole work-life balance thing! Let’s bring nap time to the office.
Napping improves productivity and performance.
Have you ever looked back at the work you did between 2 pm and 4 pm and been like, whoa there’s a lot of errors in this. That’s because you tried fighting daytime drowsiness. Countless studies have shown that napping improves productivity and performance. A power nap can boost job-performance by 34%, reports Sleep.org.
A study published in Nature Neuroscience found that peoples’ performance level deteriorates throughout the day. Yet when participants in the study took a nap between each test, performance deterioration was avoided, and even reversed in some cases. Group nap at work, anyone?
Napping reduces stress.
Stressed about an upcoming deadline? Anxious about getting through your 104 unread emails?
Take a nap. It will help you relax!
Research found that napping improves mood. It wasn’t that sleeping itself improved mood, it was the period of relaxation associated with napping and resting in bed. Think about it, don’t you instantly relax when you think of laying in bed? Ahhh, sometimes all you need is to lay down and quiet the mind for 20 to 30 minutes. Then continue with the rest of the day with a more positive attitude.
Tips for napping at work
Feeling a little more confident about taking an afternoon nap at work? You should be! You will literally be ahead of the game with regular naps at work. And if your boss says to drink coffee, a doctor told SBS that when you drink coffee when you’re tired, you feel alert but your memory suffers and you make more mistakes. Ooooh, burn!
Here are our quick tips for how to nap in the office:
Find a quiet space away from co-workers (an unoccupied conference room will do).
Slip an eye mask over your head and get yourself some decent earplugs.
Have something with you that you associate with sleep, such as a soft blanket or a neck pillow.
Set the alarm for 20 to 30 minutes.
Wake up with a glow and get back to work!
If your at-work sleepiness is caused by a poor night’s sleep, you could be in need of a new pillow or mattress.