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Surprising Science

Taking Naps at Work Can Be More Stressful than No Nap at All

But it doesn’t have to be.

Studies have proven that naps add value to our workday. Naps help reverse the side effects of a poor night’s sleep and improve cognitive functioning. Without naps, we’re more likely to misinterpret our coworkers’ emotions and see them as a threat instead of an ally.

That’s why more people are pushing for more pro-nap policies in the workplace. Without proper backing from employers, however, naps can mean squeezing yourself into a cramped corner or being self-conscious about snoozing. As Rebecca Greenfield observes for Bloomberg, taking naps in those circumstances can cause more stress than not napping in the first place.

Getting enough rest is important 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.

Unlike me, Greenfield works in an open office space with no dedicated nap room to escape to. (If I need to refuel, I can lazily walk over to my bedroom to take a 15-minute power nap.) So, without a place to go, she’s forced to take her break at her desk.

For all you other desk nappers, Greenfield decided to explore some napping solutions: The Ostrich Pillow, Wrap-a-Nap, NapAnywhere, and Emergency Nap Kit. All provide a unique take on how to nap at work effectively. But as Greenfield found out, these products often just trade one problem for another. Check out her full review of the products at Bloomberg.

Sleep pods provided by employers can offer that all-in-one solution without the stress argues Christopher Lindholst, founder of MetroNaps.

Linholst sums it nicely for employees looking to work smarter, not harder, in the afternoon: “It’s not enough just to tell people that they can take naps at work; you have to provide them a solution. We advocate having a sanctioned space where it is accepted and encouraged to nap.” That’s essential advice for any employer looking to offer a comfortable and productive working environment that attracts top talent.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Photo Credit: ADEK BERRY / Stringer/ Getty


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