We all know that feeling. You’re slogging through the afternoon, struggling to keep your eyes open. You’ve been yawning for the last hour, and your productivity has ground to a halt. You’re desperately in need of a nap.
But napping at work? That’s taboo. It’s unprofessional. It’s for lazy people who can’t hack it.
Or is it?
There’s actually a growing body of evidence that suggests napping on the job could be good for both employees and employers. Here’s a look at the case for making napping a mandatory part of the workday.
The Science of Sleep
First, let’s look at the science of sleep. We all need sleep to function properly. Sleep helps our bodies recover from the day’s activity, and it helps our brains consolidate memories and process information.
While we need sleep every day, the amount of sleep we need varies from person to person. Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. But some people can get by on just 6 hours, while others need 9 or 10.
The quality of our sleep is also important. Deep, restful sleep is more beneficial than light sleep or interrupted sleep.
Most of us are familiar with the stages of sleep. We start in light sleep, move into deep sleep, and then enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is when we dream.
Our sleep cycles last about 90 minutes, and we cycle through all 4 stages of sleep several times per night.
During the day, our bodies naturally go through brief periods of drowsiness. These periods are called microsleeps, and they usually last just a few seconds. But if we’re sleep-deprived, these microsleeps can last longer, and they can be harder to shake off.
That’s why it’s not a good idea to try to power through your fatigue. When you’re tired, your body is telling you to rest. Ignoring that signal can lead to accidents, errors, and decreased productivity.
The Benefits of Napping
So, what are the benefits of napping?
Napping can help to improve mood, alertness, and cognitive function. It can also help to reduce stress and improve physical health. And there’s evidence that napping can increase productivity and creativity.
One study found that napping for just 26 minutes can increase alertness by 54%. Another study found that napping can help to improve memory and cognitive function.
Napping can also help to reduce stress. One study found that napping can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And another study found that napping can help to improve job satisfaction and reduce burnout.
Napping can also have physical health benefits. One study found that napping can help to lower blood pressure. And another study found that napping can help to improve heart health.
Napping can also increase productivity. One study found that napping can help to increase accuracy and efficiency. Another study found that napping can help to improve task performance.
And finally, napping can increase creativity. One study found that napping can help to improve problem-solving ability. Another study found that napping can help to increase creativity and innovation.
The Case for Making Napping a Mandatory Part of the Workday
So, there’s a strong case to be made for making napping a mandatory part of the workday. Napping can help to improve mood, alertness, and cognitive function. It can also help to reduce stress and improve physical health. And there’s evidence that napping can increase productivity and creativity.
But there are a few potential drawbacks to consider as well.
First, napping can disrupt our sleep cycles. If we nap during the day, we may not be able to sleep as well at night.
Second, napping can make us feel groggy when we wake up. This grogginess can last for a few minutes or a few hours.
And finally, napping can be disruptive to our workdays. If we have to stop what we’re doing to take a nap, it can disrupt our workflow.
So, there are pros and cons to consider. But overall, the evidence suggests that napping can be beneficial for both employees and employers.
If you’re looking for a way to increase productivity, creativity, and alertness, napping might be worth a try.