Forget ping-pong tables – the best new perk for tech offices has to be the sleep pod. Uber has in-office nap rooms, as does Ben and Jerry’s (they’ve had one for 10 years, in fact), The Huffington Post has sleep pods, and the innovative Capital One Labs has sleeping nooks arranged like cubby houses.
As far as we’re concerned, you should never have to justify getting some shut eye, but, as the above companies will attest, there are actually a number of reasons napping on the job is in your (and your company’s) best interests.
Here are a few ways you can justify a good snooze:
It can be more effective than caffeine
Having an afternoon crash after your carb-heavy sandwich? Coffee mightn’t do the trick – but sleep might. Naps of 60 minutes have been found to increase your alertness for up to 10 hours. “Naps, in contrast to caffeine, have been shown to enhance not only alertness and attention, but also some forms of memory consolidation,” writes this recent study on comparing the cognitive effects of caffeine, naps and placebos.
There’s also this convincing study that uncovered higher levels of alertness in pilots following a 40-minute snooze, than those who skipped a few winks.
It can make you more creative
Writers and thinkers alike frequently talk about happening upon an idea in the middle of the night. Why is that? Neuroscientist Andrei Medvedev, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging, in Washington, D.C., may have found the answer. Upon monitoring the brain during the naps of 15 participants, he and the study authors found that the right side of the brain, which is associated with creativity, was active, while the left, more analytical side of the brain, stayed pretty silent on the subject.
It will make you feel better (duh)
Who can deny the positive effects of a nap on your day-to-day?
Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire performed a study on 1,000 participants, ranking their happiness levels before and after napping. Guess what the findings showed?
“These new findings suggest the tantalising possibility that you can also become happier by just taking a short nap,” Professor Richard confirmed.
Any time that you can give back to yourself during the day is never wasted. In fact, even if you’re not a napper, and find it difficult to fall asleep during the day, you’ll still feel the restorative effects, according to this study.
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