The clock reads 2:30, you’ve just had lunch, and now you’re sitting at your desk. You still have half a work day left, but your eyelids start feeling heavy and droop down. You try and stay awake, even make a round of the espresso machine, but it doesn’t work. Your head slams down on the table, and you wake up to find the face of your boss snarling at your direction. Shit, you’ve just earned a reputation for yourself as the office slacker. Wouldn’t it be better if your boss instead came over and placed a pillow under your resting head? Nah just kidding, that would be creepy as all hell. However, a lot of employers have started providing something even better — sleep pods!
Now I know, a lot of you out there must be skeptical. But due to new research it has been suggested, and proven, that taking a quick power nap at office can phenomenally boost up your productivity. This is why a lot of companies like Google, Pizza Hut, and Nike have initiated the program wherein their employees are encouraged to take a quick nap in the afternoons if they feel like it.
The idea that sleep helps you function better is really not new at all. We all know that we ought to be sleeping 8 hours a day, but not many of us can grab those full 8 hours at night. In fact, studies show that an average For a lot of us this lack of sleep can’t be avoided. However, getting 10-30 minutes of sleep after lunch at office, even if it is just resting your head on your arms on the desk, it can prove far more effective than a shot of caffeine.
Coffee can keep you up, but it can’t make you more alert. In fact, research indicates that the response time, and the memory retention of a person who is even slightly sleep deprived is even lower than that of a person who is drunk on alcohol. That basically means that if you’re even slightly drowsy, you’re more ineffective than you would be if you just waltzed into your office after a bout of midday drinking at the bar.
The science behind this is pretty convincing. When we sleep our brains don’t actually entirely log off with us, they work hard to transfer short term memories to long-term storage, thus creating more space for us to process short-term information and memories. Hence, if you start sleeping during the days, even for a while, it is likely that you’ll finally be able to get rid of all those post-it notes littering your desk as you’ll be naturally able to process information a lot better and retain them in your mind better.
Taking power naps also re-energizes a person to make quick snappy decisions, makes a person alert. In fact, it is found that American companies on average lose about $63.2 billion a year because of lowered productivity at the second half of the day, that is, due to sleepiness.
Even NASA has taken up sleep research into its agenda and has come to the conclusion that those who nap during the day display 16 percent improvement in response and reaction times. NASA took up this research in the 1990’s because up in space even the slightest of mistakes can cause millions and be potentially fatal. They found that even a 26 minute nap could increase performance level by 34%.
So now you know of all the wonderful reasons a short nap might actually benefit your productivity at work, however be careful not to overdo it. In fact, you shouldn’t sleep for any longer than half an hour, because doing so could result in Sleep Inertia, which basically means that you’ll spend the rest of the day being groggy and lazy and basically be like the walking dead. Snoozing is great, but remember, everything in moderation!