The stats on naps – sleep your way to increased productivity
Naps are on trend. What would have once been looked at as an activity for slackers, has now gone mainstream; with companies like Uber, Samsung, JetBlue, Google, and Cisco all installing nap pods. This trend has even leaked over into the consulting industry with the likes of PwC and KPMG, White & Case jumping on the bandwagon and promoting the benefits of napping for employee productivity.
Napping is big business. Not just for the nap pod creators but every business’ bottom line. Lawrence Epstein, director of the sleep medicine fellowship programme at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, says “The cost of insomnia in the US is estimated to be over $100bn when you add in reduced productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism [when employees are unproductive at work].” That is no figure to scoff at.
So, what are the benefits really?
Sleep and productivity are tightly interconnected
Those who sleep the recommended seven to nine hours each night will be more alert and focused, as well as enjoying a better memory.
The trouble is that most people aren’t sleeping seven to nine hours each night. If there is one life necessity we try to bargain with, it is sleep. We know that we need it, everyone does it, it is impossible to live without it, yet many don’t respect, or realize just how critical this activity is. Culturally we feel that downtime is unproductive, but the science is starting to suggest the opposite.
In a study done by University of Michigan doctoral student Jennifer Goldschmied and colleagues, it was found that a 60-minute nap made people less impulsive and gave them a higher tolerance for frustration.
Where most people go wrong, is oversleeping.
A nap is not meant to be asleep. Most of the napping naysayers will speak about their inability to wake up. The idea is to reboot, not to go into the deep sleep you take overnight. Set the alarm. If you sleep for too long, you’ll experience sleep inertia, which will make you tired. If you don’t sleep long enough, you won’t get the benefits of the nap.
20 to 60 minutes can help with memory and learning. It’s long enough to enter stage-two sleep or non-rapid eye movement (R.E.M.) sleep. 60 minutes gets you into R.E.M. sleep, which can improve creativity, perceptual processing, and highly associative thinking. Then 90-minutes will give you the full sleep cycle.
The time of day is also important. Midday is the found to be the best to set you up for a strong second half to the day.
If napping is not your thing, then you should simply try getting enough quality sleep. Napping combats sleep deprivation. A way to avoid sleep deprivation is to get the sleep your body requires. There is no way around it, whether at night or in naps during the day. Your body needs sleep to perform at its peak.
Sleep isn’t the only trick to enhancing productivity, Vabotu helps increase productivity for you and your team with intuitive workspaces, tasks and to-do lists, task management and project collaboration tools, all on one platform.