Can A Few Minutes of Shut-Eye Increase Work Productivity?

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Napping at work can increase Hispanic business owners work productivity and improve health

 

“Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains.”—Napoleon Bonaparte

Naps, are they becoming the new health/productivity trend among executives and company leaders?

In a regular day to day working environment, the afternoon hours are becoming increasingly correlated with decreased motivation, productivity, and alertness.

Why this happens may be attributed to many factors such as a previous unrestful night, overworked and/or overstressed.

A short afternoon nap or a‘‘siesta’’

A short afternoon nap or a‘‘siesta’’ is a common practice in some societies. Siestas can have positive effect on productivity, mostly because the activities that make up a siesta like napping and taking short breaks from work, produce positive and productive energy output.

In our society, Americans are averaging fewer than six hours of sleep per night and around 20 percent are suffering from sleepiness during the day.  A daytime nap may be all that is needed in order to stave off the sleepiness.

Nap experts state that there are two optimal amounts of time to nap during the day: 20 minutes or 90 minutes. A power nap is defined as a short nap during the day of about 20 minutes duration,” says William Deardorff, Medical Advisor for Spine-health.com. “This results in a winding down of activity in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.  However, napping much longer than 20 minutes, can result in sleep inertia (groggy feeling) causing to feel heavy, sluggish and groggy when awaken.

A Stanford University observational study

A Stanford University observational study concluded that many companies have turned to napping in an attempt to stave off billions in lost productivity each year.   Following the rise of workplace perks like lactation rooms, gyms, and child-care facilities, Nike workers now have access to nap-friendly “quiet rooms” that can also be used for meditation.

Google, a forerunner in employee perks, has a number of futuristic napping pods scattered throughout its Mountain View California campus.  Jawa, a small mobile technology company in Scottsdale, Ariz., has two resting rooms, one with a napping pod and the other with an old-fashioned couch which are both popular among programmers working long hours.

World leaders and naps

Not only corporations, but past world leaders, historical figures and famous composers adopted the “napping” trend in their time.  Bill Clinton napped while President of the United States to cope with the pressures of office.  Brahms napped at the piano while he was composing his famous lullaby.  Napoleon napped between battles while sitting on his horse.  Winston Churchill maintained that he had to nap in order to cope with his wartime responsibilities and Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed around 3pm.

Sleep scientists, cardiologists and studies 

Sleep scientist David Dinges, a pioneer in the science of napping at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, found that short periods of sleep was shown to improve alertness, memory, motor skills, decision-making, and mood.   This in turn lead to reduced stress, carelessness, and even heart disease.

New research just released in the European Society of Cardiology summarized that midday naps are associated with reduced blood pressure.  The purpose of this research, conducted by Dr. Manolis Kalistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece,  was to assess the effect of midday sleep on blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients.

The study included 386 middle aged patients with arterial hypertension.  After adjusting for factors that might influence blood pressure, the study concluded that midday naps are associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure leading to less damage to the arteries and the heart.

Ok, so you may be thinking that grabbing a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon may do just as well.  Well, not so fast.   A 2022 study showed that naps are better than caffeine when it comes to improving verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning.  Afternoon naps improved free recall memory compared to the caffeine group after both 20 minutes and seven hour intervals, while resulting in improved learning on physical tasks than caffeine.

Therefore, for those executives and Hispanic business owners who have the opportunity to shut their office door, turn off their computer, hold their calls and disconnect themselves from work for only 20 minutes will have the opportunity to recharge and refresh their mental capabilities, reanalyze and reflect on their current work load and revisit important decision making actions from an elevated perspective.   A few minutes of shut-eye may be just what the body needs to revitalize.

All content and media on the Latin Business Today Website is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided by Latin Business Today, you do so solely at your own risk. External (outbound) links to other websites or educational material (e.g. pdf’s etc…) that are not explicitly created by Latin Business Today are followed at your own risk. Under no circumstances is Your Health responsible for the claims of third party websites or educational providers.

Related articles:

If You Want To Be More Productive, Get More Sleep!

Your Health ROI Effects Your Bottom Lin

Sleep, Business Productivity and Health Benefits

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