Do you gulp down mugs of coffee between 1pm-3pm or wish for a quick shut-eye to help you refresh, stay alert and focused at work? If yes, then you probably suffer from daytime drowsiness. The main culprit for this kind behaviour is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation not only affects productivity, attention to detail and overall behaviour of an individual, but also makes their body vulnerable to health hazards like high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. Rand, a leading research institute in Europe revealed that sleep deprivation has cost the world’s economy a staggering $411 billion yearly. In wake of such studies many companies are taking proactive steps to curb the problem of sleep deprivation.
Countries like Spain, China, Mexico, Greece, Philippines and Italy have these midday naps traditionally interwoven into their everyday lives. These naps are called siesta in Spain and riposo in Italy. Even though napping or siesta is not prevalent in America, UK, and Japan, a rising number of nap cafes in these countries is an indicator of changing work-culture. Companies like Google, Uber, and NASA allow work naps by providing special nap corners and nap pods within office premises for their employees. The catch here is that some of these nap stations are equipped with 20min alarms to ensure that employees don’t oversleep...hmmm doesn't sound much fun now, does it? Nap for longer than 20 mins and you might enter into deep or slow wave sleep that leaves you feeling groggy on awakening.
Despite its pros, naysayers believe that this is not sustainable for companies in the long run as these power naps cannot relieve the fatigue of someone who hasn’t slept the whole night. The other downside is, if these naps are extended the person eventually ends up more groggy and disoriented than before thus adversely impacting productivity and performance.
So this raises the question - Are naps during office hours good or bad? Well, there is no absolute answer to this as it depends on many variables like the nature of work itself, demographic structure at the workplace, and most importantly its financial impact on business. Thus, in order to reap its benefit organisations must devise policies in a way that employees appreciate and not abuse this facility.
Till workplace naps become the norm it will be better to ensure that we get our 7-9 hour beauty sleep at home in the comfort of our bed. And the best way to ensure this? Sleep@10 of course!!