Running Naps Around The Competition
Arianna Huffington is an advocate, Winston Churchill swore by it and some of Leonardo Di Vinci’s best work is the result of it. However, for a longest time the afternoon nap has had a bad rap.
I’m outting myself as a closet napper. There, I said it. I love them, cherish them – they boost me to new heights of productivity.
So why the napping shame?
Formally derided as a sign of weakness or laziness (or being Spanish) napping is making a bit of comeback. And while it hasn't got as many supporters as mindfulness or yoga, a workplace snooze is gathering it’s own cult following.
For good reason. Studies have shown that napping “can help with learning and problem- solving, and that a mid-day snooze can spark creativity in the right hemisphere of the brain”. 1
Back in my banking days in Old Blighty - the days of 5:45am starts and late night dinners at the desk, regular catnaps almost certainly saved my career and definitely my sanity.
A few of my favourite afternoon nap spots included the ladies loo’s (don’t judge), the office sick bay, local churches (any religion) and even the Circle Line on the The Tube. A 30 minute nap was a luxury, 20 minutes was passable and as the TAC preach - 15 minutes could save your life.
So, why all this sneaking around to nap when they are so good for us? A University of Dusseldorf Study in 2008 showed that getting even the smallest nap, a few minutes, can reap big rewards as the onset of sleep triggers memory processes and a 2013 British study showed that “just knowing a nap was coming can lower blood pressure.” 2
While some forward-thinking Australian workplaces are looking at the evidence and embracing the nap by installing sleep pods, napping is yet to go mainstream.
Just Google ‘workplace yoga’ or ‘workplace meditation’ and there are pages of companies offering these services. Don’t get me wrong - at Naked we are huge fans of mindfulness and love the lotus. But napping is easier. You don’t need an instructor and there is no question of silencing your stream of consciousness when you are in land of zzz’s.
I just hope in our future workplaces all three are part of the office DNA... or even our KPI’s.
If there is any doubt left in your mind that a siesta a day keeps the doctor away, take it from Queen of Napping - Arianna Huffington in her article Getting Naps Ahead of the Comp "Fatigue is the enemy of creativity and memory. It costs (American) businesses $63 billion a year in lost productivity. One study found that, because of its effects on decision-making and cognitive function, sleep-deprivation opens the door to unethical behaviour.” 3 By which she is almost certainly talking about sleeping in loos.
Which I think is reason enough for all of us - to nap out loud.
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