Taking a nap during work hours might seem like a major faux pas. But it may actually be the best thing for your body—and your productivity.
Most kids hate nap time. They need it, but they hate it. Having to stop, lay down and go to sleep takes away from precious learning and play time. Terrible!
And most adults look back at their childhood selves and think, "You had no idea how good you had it." Many of us struggle to stay alert and productive throughout our workday. And would kill for a nap time.
According to Inc., a poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 29 percent of respondents admitted to falling asleep or becoming very sleepy while on the job. That sleep deprivation translates to a real loss in productivity and therefore a real loss of money. American companies lose up to $63.2 billion per year in lost productivity due to sleep-deprived employees.
Restworks is a company that provides napping and rest areas for corporations, hospitals and universities. Its CEO, Christopher Lindholst, tells Inc. that napping at work might be the key to helping employees reach their full potential.
And looking at the well-known companies that have already implemented midday naps for their team members—Google, NASA, and Zappos—he may be onto something.
"When people first encounter the idea of napping at work, we often find they initially think that employees are going to sleep all day once you introduce the concept," Lindholst tells Inc., "But, that's not what happens at all."
He says the installation of a napping area should be compared to the installation of a fitness center at an office. Just because there's a gym, doesn't mean employees are going to be in the gym all the time instead of working.
The napping areas Restworks installs are designed for short 15-20 minute naps. Short naps mean your brain doesn't go into a deep sleep which would make it harder to get back up and resume work.
"These short segments of sleep are actually restorative," Lindholst explains. "Naps have been well documented to improve alertness by 30 percent, and regular napping has health benefits including reducing risk of cardiovascular disease by 37 percent."
He even goes as far as to say, "Sleeping on the job is one of the best things you can do to boost your professional performance."
We're into it.
Most companies haven't installed napping pods yet, so Arianna Huffington, a long-time proponent of napping at work and author of , tells Business Insider employees should band together to lobby for a room with couches for napping.
"Then have your kit with your earplugs and your eye mask and you can lie on that couch," she says.
If there aren't couches, or a private enough space in your office, Huffington suggests getting manager approval to bring a yoga mat to work. Then find the most private space you can and nap on the mat.
"There are ways to make that happen if you believe that it will actually make you more effective, more productive, and happier," she says.
If it comes down to it, arm yourself with this data, march into your boss's office and tell he or she that should they need you, you'll be under your desk for the next 15-20 minutes.