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Snoozing Your Way to the Top

Snoozing Your Way to the Top

Next time you’re feeling tired or sluggish in the middle of the day you may want to consider the benefits of a short nap. For many people, snoozing in the middle of a workday is a forbidden fruit, but employers may want to take a look at the studies that show how naps can increase creativity, alertness, and memory.

A lot of workplaces have already recognized what naps can do for their employees. Companies like Zappos.com and New York City-based Workman Publishing have incorporated designated sleep areas in the workplace.

Yarde Metals (a metal distribution company) takes the midday nap seriously. They have designed the “Z Lounge” which is a meditative retreat featuring a reclining chair which vibrates to music with scenes of a crackling fire displayed on a TV set. Marketing director Susan Yarde explains why the company feels the “Z Lounge” works, “If some people just need a nap for 15 minutes and they can finish out their day with a clear mind, there’s benefit to the company to do that.”

Naps may also be beneficial when it comes to our hearts and long-term health. A recent Newsweek article cites a six-year study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School. Researchers studied 23,500 healthy adults and found that taking naps at least 3 days a week reduced coronary mortality by 37 percent.

Sara Mednick, a professor of psychiatry and author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life.” recommends napping for no more than 20 minutes to boost alertness and performance. She explains that getting between 30 minutes to an hour of sleep can leave a person feeling groggy the rest of the day.

Do you think a midday nap could increase your performance at work?

If your work allowed it, how often do you think you would take advantage of a short snooze?

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  • asoutherner By asoutherner
    07.18.08  

    When my daughter was young, she and I got in the habit of resting in the afternoon. We both needed it and welcomed it. When my son came along, he quit taking naps by about 2 years of age. No matter how much Mommy needed a nap, he would have none of it. Count your blessings if you do get an afternoon siesta. They come in handy and energize you.

  • Indigoblue By Indigoblue
    07.18.08  

    In many many countries--they nap--or rest and relax. I really believe they are healthy--as much as moderate exercise...American's stress rates are up--people are taking anti-anxiety medication...I think we push too much--not that a hard days work isn't important. I think employers in the US are very behind other countries and pay for it in sleepy unproductive and unhealthy employee's:)

  • sharman421 By sharman421
    07.21.08  

    Nap? What's that? I wish schools would let teachers nap! I wish they would extend the Kindergarten nap up through high school! What a novel idea. How about this: Give teachers and kids more than 20 minutes for lunch (after getting in line for ten minutes)and then give us all an extra 20 minutes for a nap! Never will happen, unfortunately!

  • knituk By knituk
    07.21.08  

    Ah...nap time!! To be a kid again!

  • momoffive By momoffive
    07.23.08  

    I have always found power napping to be great! If I slept for at least 10-15 mintues and awoke I really felt less tired and was able to resume the day and not feel as though I was dragging.

  • sdgomez By sdgomez
    07.23.08  

    20 minutes huh?? I always hated napping (as an adult) because I found myself waking up so groggy the rest of the day was shot... maybe I am just sleeping too long! next opportunity I get, I'll give the little nap a try... however, not something our work allows, so I don't know when that will ever be.

    if they allowed it -- oh yeah, I'd be there!

  • melsy00 By melsy00
    07.24.08  

    In many other countries it is acceptable to have an afternoon nap and most workers are happy and productive. It wouldn't hurt for American employers to allow a nap for their employees.

  • daisy671 By daisy671
    07.26.08  

    I work overnights and I often take a 20 minute nap instead of a full 30 minute lunch. It helps me recharge enough to make it all the way through the night. I love naps!!

  • lunita111 By lunita111
    07.27.08  

    It would be very cool if US employers allowed nap time just like other countries do. The result would be more productive work...and less grumpy employees.

  • masmac20 By masmac20
    07.28.08  

    Sounds like a wonderful idea!! But, I can't see it in my work place! I'm a teacher and how could I nap when the kids definitely wouln't be. Yikes, what a classroom that would be!

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