A typical American sleeps an average of fewer than 6 hours per night. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared insufficient sleep as a ‘public health problem.’ And now more and more employers realize that encouraging employees to nap during the workday is more profitable than not! Research from the Rand Corporation found that sleep loss costs the U.S. economy $411 billion and 1.23 million workdays annually.
Daytime drowsiness affects productivity, mood, creativity, and concentration – not to mention that sleep-deprived workers are at a greater risk for diabetes, hypertension, depression, and mortality. Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) 2006 Stress and Anxiety Disorders Survey found 44% of the top method of managing high levels of stress at work is sleep!
The National Sleep Foundation found that a “power nap” of just 20 minutes can boost your on-the-job performance by 34%, improve alertness, and leave you in an overall better mood. Think that taking a power nap will make you feel even more tired? Think again, a 20-minute nap will keep you in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep, making it easier for you to get up and go without feeling groggy!
So what are some tips to get that power nap in during your day?
- Siesta time – Usually, our bodies start to slow down around 2 PM-3 PM, so schedule your nap to be a part of your day. If it is on your calendar, it is less likely that you will forget.
- Props – Bring items to work that remind you of sleep like fuzzy socks to slip on at your desk, an eye mask, earplugs, lavender oil, or a neck pillow.
- Find a nice, quiet area – many companies have begun investing in dedicated nap areas by purchasing couches or nap pods. If these are not available to you, find a quiet room or nap in the car.
- It can wait – encourage positive sleep habits by silencing your electronics, so those emails can wait.
Sleeping on the job is one of those workplace taboos — like leaving your desk for lunch or taking an afternoon walk — that we’re taught to look down on. Times are changing and this is not the case anymore. Positive sleep habits are detrimental to the workplace, so it is time to get nappin’!
Hafner, et al. “Sleep Deprivation Has Economic, Physical, and Social Consequences.” RAND Corporation, 30 Nov. 2016, www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1791.html.
Herrera, Tim. “Take Naps at Work. Apologize to No One.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 June 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/smarter-living/take-naps-at-work-apologize-to-no-one.html.
“How to Nap at Work and Stay Productive.” Sleep.org, www.sleep.org/articles/napping-at-work/.
“Should Your Company Allow Napping at Work?” Anthem | The Benefits Guide, 12 Nov. 2018, thebenefitsguide.com/sleeping-on-the-job-why-letting-employees-nap-at-work-boosts-health-and-productivity/.
“What Is the Ideal Nap Length.” Sleep.org, www.sleep.org/articles/how-long-to-nap/.
Zimmerman, Kaytie. “It’s Time To Start Taking Naps At Work.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 1 Feb. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/kaytiezimmerman/2018/02/01/time-start-taking-naps-work/#3c6f174e78b6.