Should We Nap at Work?

Our lives are busy. Not only do we work at least eight-hour work days where we contend with deadlines and goals to meet, we have our personal lives too: getting the kids to hockey and dance lessons, meal prep, running errands, volunteering, going to the gym or yoga class. Do you catch my drift? Life is exhausting.

How often do you get a chance to take 30 minutes for yourself to re-energize? What if your workplace allowed nap time during the day? Would you be more productive? Would you have more energy?

Studies have shown lack of adequate sleep leads to a variety of health detriments and interferes with daily functioning tasks.1 Sleep deprived individuals, or those who have a sleeping disorder, tend to take more short and long-term sickness leaves from work. Sleep problems are also a safety concern, as they are associated with occupational injuries.2 Furthermore, work-related injuries and sleep problems contribute significantly to the individual, medical, and workers’ compensation insurance claims.3 Sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.4

More workplaces are adopting nap time practices, and they are reaping the benefits. Employees who nap 15-30 minutes have shown increased job performance, mood, and alertness, as well as reduced anxiety and stress. Regular naps assist in storing, retaining, and recalling information faster and more effectively.5 A couple long-term benefits include reduced blood pressure and decreased coronary-related mortality.6

HOW TO TAKE A RELAXING NAP:

Limit your naptime: Only 15-30 minutes is needed. Longer naps can cause negative effects, such as sleep inertia (grogginess, delayed alertness) and night-time sleeping problems.

Location, Location, Location: Find a dark, cool place. A quiet room with limited noise and dim lighting assists in falling asleep faster.

Get cozy! Grab a blanket and comfy pillow! Need some white noise? Turn on a fan or play some tranquil music.

Avoid caffeine: Consuming large quantities of caffeine before you lay down to nap affects your ability to fall asleep. However, foods that are high in protein and calcium promote sleep.

Relax! Enjoy your nap. You deserve it! You will be rested, relaxed, and more productive after you get some shut eye!

WAYS TO INCORPORATE NAPPING INTO YOUR WORKPLACE:

Have a napping room: A quiet room with neutral colours, dim or no lighting, couches, cots, or sleeping pods.

Promote napping! Make it part of your company’s culture. Let employees book their time slot in the nap room, just like a meeting room.

Encourage it! You’ve read the benefits, who doesn’t want a more productive and happy employee?!


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