The two o’clock crunch is known to office workers everywhere. It’s that time span after lunch but before going home when everyone’s energy level seems to crash. Even the most passionate employees can’t help but zone out, especially after a large lunch, decreasing focus and slowing down the daily work flow. To combat it, people use different coping mechanisms, which often involve reaching for caffeine, candy or another unhealthy pick-me-up to get through until the end of the day. Some companies across the country are taking an age-old approach to the problem and putting a new spin on it by equipping their offices with nap rooms.
Nap rooms, or rejuvenation centers as some companies prefer to refer to them, are a quiet space typically with a couch or recliner where employees can relax and take 30 minute power nap. Studies find that quick catnap is like pushing the reset button on the brain. It sparks new focus with refreshing clarity to peak productivity in the afternoon. Nationwide Planning’s chief compliance officer, Mike Karalewich, told TODAY, “The nap for me, personally speaking, really allows me to approach the second half of the day with a lot more force.’’
According to the New York Times, “A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.” A quick snooze isn’t just good for productivity, but for overall health as well. Cultures that regularly participate in siestas have a lower rate of coronary heart disease. It’s a more-the-merrier type of habit too. Napping three times a week reduced risk of CHD by 37%.
The founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, learned the value of power nap the hard way. She collapsed from exhaustion resulting in stitches and a fractured cheekbone. Now, she is an advocate of sleep and has installed nap rooms at the Huffington Post's offices. Huffington explained, "Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier. Even a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day can make a huge difference. I grew up thinking that if you work around the clock, you are going to be more effective, and I realize that is not true."
Some of the smartest people in history are noted power nappers. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci, among others, used the power of a short sleep to change the world. Winston Churchill, a noted napper himself once said, "You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner… Don't think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That's a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one -- well, at least one and a half, I'm sure."
If it worked for the best it can work for the rest. The more companies across the country realize this, the more healthy and happy employees they will have and a rise in productivity will surely follow.
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos
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