According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 37 percent of adults feel sleepy during the day, enough so that it interferes with daily activities. Power napping can help to alleviate sleepiness and its effects, which include sadness, pessimism and decreased productivity.
Reduce your chances of being tired during the day by taking a power nap: a 20- to 60-minute rest. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests power napping as a way to prevent energy drain and re-energize your productivity levels. It is a terrific way to regain energy, retain creativity and improve overall productivity. The positive effects can be felt almost immediately.
According to the NIMH, a nap during the workday can prevent employee burnout (characterized as irritation, frustration or weakened performance), and even reverse information overload, resulting in better performance. The research findings concluded that:
- A 30-minute nap prevented further deterioration of productivity.
- A one-hour nap boosted performance levels of productivity.
While an hour-long nap sounds ideal, it is not always feasible in our busy and hectic work schedules. In fact, longer naps can be harder to wake from; therefore, many professionals recommend a 20-minute nap.
How can you retain your creativity and increase your performance at work? Use these power-napping suggestions:
- The best time to take a power nap is approximately eight hours after you wake. This is in line with the body’s natural biorhythms.
- Divide your lunch break up so you have time to rest: Take half of your break at noon and the other half a few hours later. Use the second break to rest.
- If you have your own office, shut the door, turn off the lights and send your phone calls straight to voicemail. Set an alarm so you can rest without worrying about time.
- If you sit in an open space, find an area that is quiet and out of the way. Do some meditation exercises to help relax.
- Request that your organization offer a quiet, peaceful room designated for afternoon power naps.
Studies show that getting the correct amount of sleep improves function. Therefore, if getting in a power nap is not feasible, try getting to sleep earlier or setting your alarm to wake you later in the morning.
So instead of going to McDonalds for lunch take a POWER NAP!