Sleeping on the job can help you get more things done
Catching some Z's at work can help improve your productivity. Is there any truth in this statement? Well, according to Dr. Sara Mednick, a former Harvard researcher who is also an expert on the science of napping, your performance will fall apart if you don't give yourself a midday rest.
The Importance of Taking Power Naps
Based on the results of Dr. Mednick's research, 51% of the workforce claimed that sleepiness on the job greatly interferes with the quality and volume of work that they can accomplish within any given day. However, by taking a short workplace nap or 'power naps', as others fondly call it, you can boost your memory and creativity, restore your proficiency in a number of critical skills, and improve your productivity at work.
The benefits of taking midday siestas do not end there. According to the results of a study published in the February 2007 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, napping also reduces the incidence of stress and heart disease. This particular study showed that people who took naps three times a week for an average of at least 30 minutes had a 37% reduction in heart disease mortality while less frequent nappers reduce their risk by at least 12%.
Research at NASA provided more evidence that power naps can be extremely useful. According to their research, taking a 26 minute power nap can boost a person's performance by as much as 34% and increases a person's ability to multi-task during complex work. However, taking longer naps can be counterproductive since it can make a person feel sluggish and hamper his work performance.
Introducing the Sleep Pods
Recognizing the importance of taking power naps at work, some companies have created "nap rooms" or "quiet rooms" to help reduce stress and improve their employees' productivity. Other companies invested in strange looking beds known as "sleep pods".
Sleep pods are basically sleeping chairs that have been specially designed to be used in the workplace. These pods allow the body to lie in different positions and have built-in relaxation music and subtle vibrations to help you destress and fall asleep. Some sleep pods are also equipped with ambient lighting and a built-in timer to help you track your nap.
However, sleep pods do not come cheap. Some models are tagged around the $8,000 mark while some may go as high as $12,000. It is great if your company can afford it but if it is really way beyond your budget, you can opt to have a dedicated nap room complete with recliners and/or couches, blankets, dimmed lights and an overall cozy atmosphere.