Topic of the Week The Case For Naps
- You'll learn more.
- You'll be more productive.
- You'll be more creative.
- You'll be more pleasant to be around.
Help Me Make It Through the Day: The Case for Naps
For most of us work is a marathon, we have long days, stress and more fires to put out than the average firefighter. Where do we find the strength to survive our turbulent and hectic workday? Most of us turn to coffee, energy drinks or vending machine chow. Which reminds me of a recent job that I had, yes readers, I do actually work in addition to writing this column every week. My first day on the job I pulled aside Rhonda, the receptionist and sanest person in the entire company. I confided that it had been many years since I'd punched the clock at an office for the entire day. She signaled me to follow her down the hallway into a storeroom. Out from behind a shelf she pulled out a mattress. She smiled and said, "Welcome to the company nap room."
Love is a strong word to use at work, but I can honestly say that I loved Rhonda from that moment on. The nap room kept me sane and productive. I didn't use it every day, but it was a great comfort to just know that it was there. Recently I saw an article written by Chris Gayomali in TheWeek.com which reviewed the scientific case for naps. Who knew that science actually supported my life long appreciation of getting twenty minutes of shut-eye during the middle of the workday? Here are four advantages of finding the time to nap at work.
You'll learn more. There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus where new memories get temporarily stored. German researchers found that when volunteers studied an assortment of pictures, poems and algebra equations they performed up to 85% better after a 40 minute nap than when they attempted the same assignment napless. That wasn't a typo, it was an 85% improvement.
You'll be more productive. Sure there are people who get the eight hours of sleep each night that we're supposed to get. But for the rest of us, work becomes an uphill battle because we're constantly fighting sleep deprivation. A power nap, haven't heard that phrase since the old disco all-nighters, can help us all make up for lost sleep time. In fact, companies like Nike an Deloitte are embracing naps as a productivity enhancing tool.
You'll be more creative. Ever spend most of the morning stumped by a difficult problem at work? Researchers at Georgetown University discovered that a power nap can help your brain to get it's creative juices flowing so you can utilize your creativity to solve tough problems. I can personally attest to hundreds of times where this worked for me.
You'll be more pleasant to be around. Clearing out your hippocampus, your mental inbox, can boost your mood. Australian researchers discovered that a half hour nap was followed by mental improvements that lasted up to 155 minutes.
I hope you appreciated this review of some of the science surrounding the good "N" word at work, napping.
Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winningworkplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via [email protected]