The workplace power nap – how to do it before Christmas
With just five more working days until Christmas and a busy schedule in the lead up to the big day, a power nap might be what we need to ward off overtiredness and mistakes in the workplace. Here are the reasons why powernaps are so good, how the Japanese have perfected them and how Sedus can help.
In the 21st century, working people are subject to a tightly timed daily rhythm. Often, we don’t get enough rest at night, although healthy sleep is enormously important for our bio-rhythms and how we function. A lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the ability to think and thus also drag down productivity of the individual. So why not take a very short nap after lunch? In this article, we present an effective method against declining performance, something which has long been common practice in politics and business – the power nap.
Powernap: More productivity and better reaction time through healthy sleep
Who hasn’t been there: especially around lunchtime, many employees are confronted with an acute attack of tiredness. Lunch is still lying heavy and sluggishness spreads to the arms and legs. A time of day when the body automatically shuts down – programmed by the human bio-rhythm. Caffeine can counteract the drop in performance, but as every worker knows: if you are overtired, you make mistakes. So a healthy midday nap as a power nap is highly recommended to stay effective – and safe.
After all, mistakes made due to overtiredness can have serious consequences in professional life – whether at work with heavy machinery or in the extreme example of driving a car. The notorious “microsleep” has already led to countless traffic fatalities. In just three seconds of sleep, you cover a whole 83 metres at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour. It is impossible to calculate what can happen on this stretch of road. But even a short nap at a rest area can prevent drowsy driving. So what should you do if you get tired on the road? That’s right: power nap.
Nowadays, power napping has established itself as a method in modern work science. Studies have shown that a power nap can increase reaction time by 35 percent. At the same time, a power nap increases productivity after lunch. Individuals are more attentive and can flexibly master the tasks at hand. But a power nap is also suitable at any other time of day. In Europe, the principle of power napping has not been widespread for very long. In the land of the rising sun, however, it is a fixed cultural component called “Inemuri”.
What is “Inemuri”?
The word “Inemuri” – the Japanese nap – is composed of the words “Iru” (to be present) and “Nemuri” (sleep). The state of “being present asleep” is deeply embedded in the daily rhythm of society – whether as a nap on the underground, on a park bench or even in business meetings! Japanese have an extremely short night’s rest compared to the rest of the world. Thus, casual power napping has become a convention here everywhere and across the board.
Sleeping on trains in the west might be frowned upon and random sleeping at work is a definite no no. Inemuri, on the other hand, is how Japanese employees affirm their high performance or show their disinterest to the other employees in the meeting. In Europe, the power nap is not yet ready for such a practical application. But science has long since recognised its advantages.
5 arguments as to why a power nap is healthy sleep!
Even in our grandparent’s day, the good old nap was a tried and tested means of compensating for sleep disturbance or too short a night’s rest. By taking a power nap at lunchtime, it is possible to boost the ability to think and prevent emerging laziness, even without the increased intake of caffeine. But power napping can be a viable model at any time of day – even at work.
- Even a short nap helps you concentrate, improves reaction time and increases alertness – for example, on a car journey.
- A power nap catches the fatigue attack and thus ensures your productivity throughout the entire working day.
- Healthy sleep supports good health and reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- A power nap to protect the working atmosphere: Unrested people are often thin-skinned or short-tempered, which can have a negative impact on the overall mood.
- A short nap promotes relaxation and a balanced bio-rhythm. This inherently reduces stress in the company.
Whether napping in the office should be allowed must be discussed individually by employees with their employer. The recommendation is 20 minutes. If you nap for longer, unhelpful deep sleep is not far away.
Sedus also knows that power napping is good for your health and performance. The product world for healthy office furnishings does not include a “real sleeping area”. But the upholstered furniture areas of se:lab sofa, se:lounge and se:works are just as suitable a place for you to close your eyes for a moment.