Taking a nap can improve your performance at work, a theory supported by a 1995 study conducted by NASA, which found that pilots who napped an average of just 26 minutes per day improved performance by 34 per cent.
Another study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that the perceptual performance of people progressively deteriorated throughout the day, but this performance deterioration was stopped simply by taking a 30-minute nap. Those who took a 60-minute nap completely reversed it.
Furthermore, Sara Mednick, a co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at the University of California, told the New York Times that a nap can help with your memory, creative thinking, help you learn, improve alertness and cut through mind fog. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your employer.
And if you’re wondering if a steaming hot cup of coffee might do the trick instead, it won’t. A study conducted in 2008 found that a nap is better than caffeine when it comes to improving verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning.
But it isn’t just your workplace that benefits from you taking naps. Napping regularly can reduce your risk and frequency of falling ill, it can reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and it can reduce inflammation in the body. Better yet, scheduling in a siesta at least three times a week can reduce your risk of death from coronary disease by 50%, plus it can reduce fatigue, boost positive thinking and improve mood.
So, if you find yourself nodding off at work, it might be time to book one of those quiet little meeting rooms and have an uninterrupted snooze for half an hour.