Falling asleep at your desk or generally taking a nap at work has long been frowned upon. But more and more forward-thinking companies are introducing nap time as part of their companywide wellbeing strategy. Research has shown that a short power nap can massively improve employees’ productivity. The work time lost during a nap is more than made up by simply getting more done afterwards. Napping also boosts memory, learning, concentration as well as communication and motor skills.
Think about it. Employees who, for whatever reason, don’t get all the hours of night-time sleep they need, will come to work without being well rested. Research from the University of Rotterdam in March 2017 has shown that even one night of bad sleep can lead to loss of concentration, errors and unwanted conduct such as taking longer breaks. It can even lead to undesirable behaviour towards colleagues. In addition, employee’s lack of sleep also has an impact on the company’s profitability. This is due to sick days taken and the above-mentioned drop in productivity.
Forward thinking companies such as Zappos and Ben & Jerry’s have realised this for years and have installed nap rooms for their employees. Nike also offered quiet rooms, where employees can either take a nap or meditate, if they feel the need to switch off for a bit.
How to ensure a successful nap
The key to successful napping is to keep it short. It is recommended not to exceed 30 minutes to avoid falling into a deep sleep and waking up feeling groggy. Even a super short nap of up to 10 minutes can increase alertness considerably. Having a suitable environment such as a nap room or nap pods will ensure that you can go to sleep quickly rather than spending ages finding a comfortable position and trying to block out noise and distraction.
However, napping must not replace hours of proper sleeping at night-time. For general health as well as mental health it is important to go through enough cycles of deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, neither of which occurs during napping.
So, we have learned that naps are no replacement for a good night’s sleep. If an employee is regularly sleep deprived, it is important to resolve underlying issues. These can be depression, sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia or any other problems. In a similar vein, constant stress can also lead to poor sleep quality at night. This will lead to problems in the long run.
We must get back to the mentality that sleep is important and encourage our employees to improve their sleep quality. Sleep is not a necessary evil but should be celebrated for all the benefits it provides.
How the Work Well Practice can help
If your employees suffer from too much stress in their day-to-day work environment, why not download my ’10 Killer SOS Stress Management Strategies for Middle and Senior Leaders’. You will receive a complimentary eGuide, audio recording and a useful infographic.
I also provide hypnotherapy and mindfulness training if your employees suffer from insomnia or are generally not sleeping well. Simply get in touch for a free strategy call where we can discuss how I can specifically help to meet your needs. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075 222 777 22.
Disclaimer: As with most practices, mindfulness may not be suitable for everyone. If you have any existing mental health conditions or past trauma, you should discuss these with your GP or mental health professional and these should also be disclosed prior to enrolling in a class.