Up until now, it’s been something you do in secret. Instead of heading off to lunch with everyone else, you’ll lock your office door, turn off the light and go sleeping at work. Or you’ll head out to your car and do your best to curl up and doze off without anyone noticing.
After all, you’re an adult, and we’re not supposed to need naps during the day. Except that more and more research is not only showing that we do, but that when we get those little power naps, we’re actually better, more productive employees. So stop hiding your napping tendencies and embrace them.
Many companies around the country are already doing this by designating nap rooms and even passing out sleep masks for employees. Join the nap revolution and you might just boost your career. How?
It enhances your memory.
Sleep-study experts have found that naps seem to “consolidate learning” so that we find it easier to remember things. The next time you’ve got a big presentation, consider taking a quick nap after you go over it for the last time.
It puts you in a better mood.
Way too many of us just don’t get enough sleep at night, but even a simple 30-minute nap can help to get rid of moodiness that might cause you to snap at a customer or a colleague.
It makes visual learning easier.
Researchers have long found that we get worse on visual learning tests as the day goes on. After napping, however, this deterioration not only goes away, performance can actually improve from what it was right before the nap.
It increases your energy.
We wake up from naps feeling refreshed and reinvigorated, which can put a pop back in your step and make those boxes you need to unload or emails you need to answer get done a whole lot faster – even accounting for the nap time.
It makes you more alert.
When we’re tired, we’re much more likely to miss things and just generally make more mistakes. Taking a quick nap recharges your brain so that it’s much easier for you to notice what’s going on around you and make good decisions.
It helps with problem solving.
You know who napped? Einstein and Edison. There’s a lot of research out there to show that just because we’re napping, it doesn’t mean that our brains stop working on a problem. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Without our conscious thoughts getting in the way, our brains sort of “clear out the clutter” and focus on what’s giving us problems, often coming up with creative solutions it might have taken us far more time to realize while awake.
It keeps you healthy.
One of the biggest costs to employers – both in insurance rates and in lost productivity – is their employees’ poor health. Napping helps our bodies to renew themselves and even strengthens our immune systems, which means fewer sick days being taken and less time spent at the doctor’s office.
It improves your motor skills.
It should come as no surprise that as we grow more tired our motor skills decline. This is especially disastrous if you work in a profession where those skills are paramount, such as construction, or as a pilot or bus driver. But when pilots on trans-Pacific flights were told to nap for 40 minutes for a study, it showed a 34 percent improvement in their overall performance.
With all of these benefits helping you to improve your work performance, you’ll turn the odds in your favor the next time bonuses are considered or the boss is looking for someone to promote.
Who would have thought sleeping at work was so useful?
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