Naps are making a comeback, and not just on lazy Sunday afternoons. Some forward-thinking companies are beginning to get in on the act. After all, long afternoons at work can make you unbearably tired. The hard surface of your desk begins to look like an ideal pillow for a short, illicit catnap. It's only the fear of waking up with a post-it note on y our forehead that says "You're fired!" that keeps many of us from succumbing to the need for sleep.
Now, US News and World Report discovered that naps are increasing in popularity in many different industries. Companies such as "British Airways, Nike, Pizza Hut, and Google offer reclining chairs and "renewal rooms."
Naps are at odds with the strong held belief of the American Work Ethic, which promotes the idea of keeping your nose to the grindstone throughout the day, with only a short period of time for lunch. In many companies, even short breaks are frowned upon. Perhaps we should listen to the wise if unexpected advice of Martha Stewart when she says, “I catnap now and then, but I think while I nap, so it's not a waste of time.”
Working, even if only with your brain, is a tiring process, and the longer we do it without a break, the worse the results. This is one of the reasons there is a movement to reduce the number of hours medical interns work without sleeping. After all, who wants a doctor working on them who is so tired they can barely see straight?
Some cultures have not only flourished by taking naps, but have successfully integrated them into society: Spain is the obvious example, where it is still typical in many areas to have a siesta (nap) in the middle of the day, which can last for hours. They then return to work, and leave refreshed later in the evening to go home for the day.
Naps have been shown to increase productivity, as well as lower the number of heart attacks. And of course the best thing of all is that they feel great! So instead of staring at your work while dreaming of sleep, consider hinting at the option of a "renewal room" for your work place.
If you struggle to fall asleep when you're trying to nap, try using an eyeshade, use a blanket to stay warm, and avoid large doses of caffeine!
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