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?