Why You Need a Nap at Work

So the boss can get more out of you
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2010 3:31 PM CDT
A Chinese man naps during a cool afternoon in Beijing, China, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – Remember in kindergarten they used to make us take naps? Turns out your office is a lot like kindergarten, and your boss should be handing you a mat, writes Tony Schwartz at Fast Company, and here's why:

  • Memory: Subjects in a Harvard memory study who napped "sustained their performance all day long. Those who didn't nap performed increasingly poorly as the day wore on," Schwartz writes.
  • Reaction time: Pilots given a 30-minute nap on long flights saw their reaction time improve by 16%; non-nappers' reactions fell off by 34%.

You get the idea. So if "the more hours we work continuously, the greater the toll on our performance," Schwartz writes, then why aren't more employers encouraging a little shuteye? "If encouraging employees to take a half-hour nap means they can be two or three times as productive over the subsequent three hours—and far more emotionally resilient—the value is crystal clear. It's a win-win and a great investment."
(Read more afternoon nap stories.)

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