Napping at work, you can finally tell your boss that it’s good for you! We’ve all been there: yawn after yawn, rubbing exhausted eyes, refocusing, and repeat. Does this sound familiar? Because almost all of us have been there while at work at some time or another. When that dreaded late morning or afternoon slump hits, it can be hard, almost impossible to beat. And that’s why most of us have also heard about the rejuvenating benefits of the micro-naps.
With more than a third of U.S. adults not getting enough sleep, it’s no wonder that people are in need of a little extra snooze time. Sometimes you have to squeeze in sleep anywhere you can.
Individuals in a study conducted by Flinders University were restricted to only five hours of sleep per night. They found that a nap from 10–30 minutes produced immediate cognitive improvements and less subjective sleepiness or fatigue, with some benefits lasting as long as 155 minutes post-nap.
Napping at work: the benefits
Surge of productivity
Fatigue at work impacts productivity, accuracy, and deadlines. A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation estimated that this lack of sleep costs employers $63 billion annually due to lost productivity and sick days. That’s why companies are starting to implement a power nap period in the office. Currently, only roughly 6% of employers have nap rooms on site, according to Inc.com, but this number is increasing every year.
It is no secret that lack of sleep and grumpiness go hand in hand. Employees not only perform better when they are well rested, but they also behave better too. Their ability to control negative emotions, impulsive behavior and enhances tolerance for frustration. All of these things make for a happier work environment.
Increases workplace safety
Sometimes accidents just happen. However, a lot of time they happen due to a lack of sleep. In fact, according to OSHA, fatigued employees are 2.9x more likely to be involved in job-related accidents. These range from slips to falls, and work-related illnesses that were non-fatal to just under 4700 workplace-related deaths.
Helps with problem solving and creativity
A healthy mind creates a perfect place for creativity. Creativity also lends it hand to problem-solving and brainstorming new ways to get things done with better consistency. All of these are great wonderful contributions to making the office a better place to work.
Napping at work- the drawbacks
While increased production and better bottom lines are great benefits, there are drawbacks as well.
Finding the right time for employees to nap
The Mayo Clinic’s standard best time to sleep is between 2 pm and 3 pm because anything later could interfere with regular REM sleep. Post-lunch sleepiness and low levels of alertness are at their peak. But it can be hard to schedule this for all employees that need it equally.
Monitoring sleep time
Some employers may wonder that employees are taking advantage of the system. Are they sleeping too long or taking too many naps in a week? And taking a nap that is too long is actually counterproductive. Naps longer than 35 minutes lead to a higher risk of sleep inertia, a state of cognitive impairment that is present upon waking it up. This makes it difficult to focus, leaving you disoriented for up to 60 minutes. However, with timers and accountability, it is not impossible.
Office space and limited funding
When it comes to decisions in a company, the bottom line is often funding and expenditures. Buying “nap pods” can be pretty pricey, as they can range from $200-$2,000. However, you don’t have to have tons of office space filled with expensive napping quarters. Schedule a spacious conference room in the afternoon for those who need it. Darken the windows, use ambient noise and have a few comfortable couches at employees disposal. Just make sure to let each employee know to clean off the area when they are done. Just like a communal gym, we don’t want to be spreading germs.
Napping at work- a question of finding the right moment
When it comes down to it, sleep always wins when it comes to performance. Our bodies not only need sleep, but they also thrive on it. It makes us better, faster, and more intuitive. That’s why allowing micro-naps at work can undoubtedly be good for a company.