Struggling to tick off your to-do list at work? Maybe a quick nap might help? Sure it sounds counterproductive to take time out of your busy day to snooze, but new research has revealed could increase your productivity.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Nerd, examined the napping preferences of 2,000 Americans along with their personality traits and found that nappers were more likely to consider themselves as productive people.
There were other career benefits to taking a regular nap too, with three-quarters of snoozers labelling themselves as career driven, compared to 55% of their non-napping counterparts.
And grabbing a quick forty winks seems to have a knock-on effect on wellbeing too with a whopping 90% of nappers saying they were happy versus 79% of those who skipped the disco nap.
Confidence is also increased with snooze time too with 89% of nappers claiming to be confident compared to 79% of those who don’t hit the sack for a sleep.
Commenting on the findings a spokesperson for Mattress Nerd told Metro: “Napping is no longer a sign of laziness, but it’s another tool we can use to make us more productive in life.”
Before you prepare to lobby your boss to introduce an afternoon kip, its worth noting that this is a pretty small survey and not a scientific study, but it certainly isn’t the first time naps have been linked to an increase in productivity.
Sleep Foundation quotes a NASA study that found a 40 minute nap improves productivity by 34% and alertness by 100%. Tested on astronauts and military pilots, those are certainly stats your boss can’t ignore.
According to sleep Sleep Foundation experts naps can increase alertness in the period directly following the nap and may extend alertness a few hours later in the day.
What’s more catching some zzz’s can also help our brain retain information from earlier in the day.
So how exactly can getting some quick shut eye help us power through that presentation prep?
Sleep expert and therapist Christabel Majendie told Metro that a nap can improve focus, which could in turn boost productivity. “If you are feeling sleepy at work, a short nap at work could be beneficial as it will lead to improved alertness which will impact on your performance and memory,” she explains.
This is echoed by Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a psychologist and sleep expert for bed manufacturers Silentnight, who believes a short nap in the office can help to repair muscles and reduce the effects of ageing.
“Just a twenty minute power nap can make a huge difference,” she says. “Naps have been scientifically proven to boost creativity and problem solving ability, and they can even re-balance the immune system, meaning staff are less likely to take sick days.”
As well as helping to bring your office A-game, regular snooze time could have other benefits, with recent research suggesting taking a nap once or twice a week could reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Swiss study, of 3,462 people aged between 35 and 75, and published in the journal Heart, found that short additional sleeps cut the risk of heart attack and stroke by almost half.
A further study conducted by David Wagner of the University of Oregon also revealed a lack of shut-eye led to a 5% increase in the number of heart attacks reported and a 5% increase in the number of injuries at work.
So there you have it, folks, some pretty compelling evidence to present to your boss for introducing compulsory nap time at work.
You’re oh so welcome.