Hands up if you’ve ever looked under your desk and thought it might be a good place to put your head down for just half an hour. Just us?
Maybe not. In the past few years taking a nap on your bosses’ clock has been introduced in a number of businesses in Japan and it looks like it could be the way forward to increase productivity during our working day.
Why? A number of occupational and psychological researchers are putting together a case for how restfulness and napping could help us work even harder and smarter.
The link between sleep and productivity have already been demonstrated. In a study in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that when participants took a 30-minute nap between perceptual performance tests, their performance didn’t deteriorate. After a 60-minute nap, they improved.
Brilliant news – but what else can it do? Napping has been proven to offer a whole range of benefits to our overall health as well as our mood. Here are just a few:
1. Increase fitness
Getting your full seven to eight hours of rest a night is the best way at ensuring you do your best at the gym, but life doesn’t always allow for a full night’s rest. If you aren’t able to stay in bed all night, getting an extra nap in could improve your fitness performance.
A study found that, over a three-week period, athletes who got more sleep achieved better workouts, lower heart rates and faster sprint times. Heads down, PBs up.
– RELATED: Beauty Sleep Is A Real Thing, Apparently –
2. Be nicer
Ever found yourself acting like a bit of an a-hole when you haven’t got enough kip? Research from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that sleep deprivation can lead to stereotyping and can make you worse at filtering the prejudices you don’t usually agree with. A few winks might stop you losing friends.
3. Calm down
Just like being hangry, sleepiness can make us tense up. It’s more than just heavy eyes that cause this, scientists have discovered that those who don’t get enough shuteye have significantly more activity in the areas in the brain that are associated with anxiety.
4. Attention, please
NASA says napping makes you more vigilant, so take a siesta. The study found that after a 40-minute sleep their pilots had higher measures of alertness. Find yourself struggling to focus your attention when it hits 2pm? A 20-minute snooze could be all it takes to get through the day.
5. Remember everything
Want to impress your boss after that meeting by remembered everything? You guessed it, have a snooze. German neuropsychologists found you retain new information five times better when your head has hit the pillow than keeping your eyes open.
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