Is an afternoon nap a bad thing for business?

30/12/20

Diane Hall

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I'm writing this article after having woken up from a quick 15-minute nap - something I would never have done had we been working from the office. For anyone that knows me, 2-3pm every day is the time I want to fall asleep - no matter what I’ve been doing, and no matter how well I slept the night before. My body just seems to know when it’s that time and I become really tired.


This sparked up a conversation with my team, around how we sleep at night. Why do we, some days, wake up tired, even though we’ve had more sleep than we’ve ever had before, what with working from home and no commute...how is this possible?


After researching the subject and reading an article by Dr Natasha Bijlani (https://www.priorygroup.com/blog/why-do-we-feel-more-tired-during-coronavirus-lockdown ) it appears to make sense that we sometimes wake up groggy and tired - and it’s not just down to the time of the year.


With our routines up in the air because of the pandemic, and because we’re spending far more time at home instead of being out and about in the world, it seems that 'sleep inertia' is something a lot of us are suffering from at the moment.


So, should we introduce afternoon naps? As a society we seem to frown upon this. I don't know any company that allows their employees to have a quick kip, mid-afternoon, but if you look back to when we were children, we had afternoon naps. Also, some of the most successful people throughout history succumbed to afternoon naps.


When we talk about afternoon naps we’re referring to 10-20 minute power naps, not a two-hour snuggle in bed. There’s a story that certain scientists, in the past, enjoyed power naps whilst holding a metal coin. The idea being that, just as they entered into a deep sleep, their bodies would naturally let go of the weight and the noise would wake them up - that’s how they knew they were having power naps and not a deep slumber.


So, if some of the most successful people in history napped, why can't we? Would you welcome a company policy that allowed you to take a 15-minute nap if your body needed it? I know as a business owner that sounds like a strange concept, but as an individual it works for me.


It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this, and whether you would or wouldn't like the idea of having a company 'power nap' policy. Tweet us at @intheknowemag.

Woman stretching after having a nap in bed

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