The benefits of naps cannot be overstated. Past studies have shown a nap can help us recuperate lost hours of sleep and restore our worn-out synapses. Scientists from the University of Michigan are looking to add to this body of research with their latest study, which argues the benefits of naps during office hours.

Businesses often install coffee machines as a solution to aid in worker productivity, but this study suggests nap stations may be more beneficial to worker productivity. Americans already trade in their hours of sleep to work and commute; why not help employees pay back some of that sleep debt?

The authors of the study demonstrated the positive effects of naps on 40 participants between the ages of 18 to 50. For the next three days, they had the participants get the same amount of sleep. When in the lab, the participants were then asked to complete some computer tasks and take a test, answering questions to gauge their sleepiness, mood, and impulsiveness.

The participants were then assigned, at random, to take a 60-minute nap or to watch a nature video. Afterward, the participants were then asked to complete the same tasks and tests again.  The researchers found the nap group was more patient when it came to completing the computer tasks, taking their time solving any issues that came up compared to the non-nappers.

The lead author, Jennifer Goldschmied, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, concluded in a press release:

"Our results suggest that napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks.”

Getting enough rest is an important lesson for any employer to understand, especially one who has high expectations for their staff. Arianna Huffington knows this all too well, after suffering a collapse while working hard to build The Huffington Post.

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Photo Credit: STAN HONDA / Staff