You're not dreaming – though your boss might think you are when you lay down the facts on the positives of napping at work. In western culture, it's seen as taboo to fall asleep at your desk. You might even get fired if you get caught one too many times. However, in Japan, falling asleep on the job is not just commonplace, it Is a show of how hard you are working. The Japanese call this "Inemuri", which translates to "sleeping while present." This napping culture has been supported by a few prominent companies in the United States – such as Apple, Nike, and Google – by providing napping pods or sleep rooms to employees. As the culture of napping spreads, and more companies start seeing the benefits, there will is greater hope for the rest of us exhausted nine-to-fivers.
1. Enhance performance
When you're tired you have a much higher chance of making mistakes – forgetting an important project is due or dropping the ball on with a valuable client. Taking a quick ten- to twenty-minute nap can help stop the downward spiral and jump-start your productivity by giving you enhanced focus, energy, and mental alertness.
2. Reduces stress
Work can be hard, busy and downright stressful. When you're tired this feeling seems to amplify. Taking a quick nap can strengthen your immune system and regulate your blood pressure in response to stress, allowing you to deal with the "daily struggle" a little easier.
3. Increase alertness
Lack of sleep, or the effects of an afternoon caffeine crash, are just a couple of reasons that lead to a lack of alertness. Research shows that a quick nap can provide an energy and alertness boost so great that even athletes will often take advantage of a snooze before games. Professional basketball player Steph Curry says, "When you wake up from a nap, you know what time it is: you know it's time to get ready and get focused and go to the game."
4. Improved mood
Feeling irritable is common for anyone who hasn't received a good night's sleep. Coffee might be a quick fix first thing in the morning, but having caffeine in the afternoon can lead to a poor night's sleep, thus perpetuating the cycle. An afternoon nap is a great way to get an extra spike of energy and ease your mind. Studies also show that nappers display lower impulsiveness and increased tolerance to frustration, demonstrating more emotional control than those who don't nap.
5. Enhanced memory
The afternoon fog is a real thing which is usually brought on by varying factors, such as fatigue, dehydration, and stress. Since sleep to so critical to your ability to learn, taking a quick nap can improve your concentration, accuracy, and ability to retain and recall information.
Now that you know all the great benefits of taking a nap at work, you're ready to find out how to maximize your efforts. Mayo Clinic recommends taking a nap in the early afternoon after you've eaten lunch, typically between 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. You should only nap for ten to twenty minutes in order to avoid sleep inertia, which causes grogginess and disorientation. Try and find a dark room that is comfortable with limited sound and light to help you fall asleep as quickly as possible.
Pro-tip: Make sure you let your boss know before you take a nap – after showing him this article of course.