Most Americans are not. In fact, 40% of the US population is sleep-deprived. According to the World Health Organization, less than 7 hours a night is considered a carcinogen, cancer-causing agent.
If you get less than 7 hours, you are:
•3 times more likely to catch the cold or flu
• likely to carry an extra 20 pounds of weight
• 4 times more likely to have a stroke over age 45.
What's the solution? For many people and more and more companies- naps!
I love naps. I hated them when I was a kid, but today, I find them rejuvenating and energizing. Naps work! And there is a great deal of research to support it.
Naps of half an hour or less don't interfere with sleep patterns, and can restore clarity, alertness, and memory. Albert Einstein was a big fan of naps. Zappos.com has a nap room and employees are encouraged to use it regularly. More and more corporations are providing nap rooms. Many railroads have them, and even Ben and Jerry’s believes in naps.
An exhausted employee is an ineffective and possibly dangerous employee. Both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were related to sleep deprivation.
Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, says a 20 minute power nap is very light and easy to wake from, and good for your motor memory. A nap of 20 - 60 minutes is slow wave sleep, which is restorative. It promotes muscle and tissue growth, as well as memory performance.
“Sleepiness alone costs the American economy and employers about 18 billion dollars a year,” says Darrel Drobnich of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, DC. So why not address that proactively and provide a nap space at work?