We all know the importance of sleep, and ensuring we get enough every night is essential for both our physical and mental wellbeing. However, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is becoming increasingly more challenging to get the required eight hours a night. In fact, research has shown that 36% of adults struggle to get to sleep each week, while over half struggle with insomnia at least once a month.
The health and wellness of your staff are becoming some of the most important elements of the workplace, but not getting enough sleep can impact the mood, alertness performance of your employees. That is why an increasing number of companies are beginning to look at the benefits of incorporating nap-friendly spaces within the workplace.
Sleeping on the job…
The idea of sleeping at work might seem a little strange, but there is a growing number of studies exploring how a short nap during the day can transform the productivity and wellness of employees. Here in the UK, and for much of the world, napping during the day when we are children is incredibly common. However, as we age and begin our education, the practice of napping ends, and it is not a culturally acceptable practice.
However, there are certain countries around the world that have a different attitude to napping. In Italy and Spain, mid-afternoon breaks are incredibly popular and taking a siesta during the day is completely normal. Equally, in Japan sleeping during the day, or inemuri as it is known, is actually seen as a sign of being completely dedicated to your job, and it has given rise to sleep pods being placed around major cities.
In these countries, these short power naps are encouraged as they help to re-energise employees and maximise their concentration through the afternoon and evening. While insomnia is a major issue impacting employees in this fast-paced world, it is not the only reason behind having an afternoon nap.
Despite the stigma of napping at work we have found that more than half of the employees we have spoken to have napped at work with 70% saying napping during working hours is positive.
"there is only so much focus your brain can handle in one day and a nap helps to rest the eyes and mind from the hard focus on screens and thinking throughout the day" London worker
Our body’s natural circadian rhythm dictates when we need sleep, controlling bodily processes such as our blood pressure, body temperature and digestive secretion. These progressions determine how tired we feel, and during the afternoon, we often face a rising homeostatic drive which results in reduced alertness and increased tiredness.
How napping can boost employee wellness
Helping to maximise the wellness of employees is something that every business is looking to incorporate. In recent years, work spaces have been working hard to implement benefits for their staff that help to improve wellness, boost innovation and create an increased sense of community. These benefits are incredibly varied, from meditation sessions and on-site gyms to implementing standing desks, but could offering a space to nap also help to improve wellness?
Creating a designated space for your staff to nap can provide a wide range of benefits for your employees, including:
One of the biggest benefits of taking a nap is that it helps to significantly increase alertness. When employees are able to take a short nap during the working day, they will benefit from increased focus while undertaking their work alongside being more alert through meetings with colleagues and clients.
When we become tired, we are more likely to be irritable and tense, which can result in tension within the workplace. Being able to take a nap will help to remove any irritability from tired staff, resulting in a more harmonious working environment.
Tiredness can also lead to impulsiveness, which can result in poor decisions and increased frustration. Allowing your employees to take a nap throughout the day will ensure that they are better able to deal with the day-to-day issues of work.
Napping does not only help to keep your staff more motivated and happier, but it can also lead to an increased level of creativity. Napping helps to keep the brain active and ensures it is able to process data more effectively.
How long should naps last?
While naps are a proven way of helping to improve the wellness of your employees, the length of the nap is crucial. Research by NASA found that a 26-minute nap was the optimal time for pilots, improving alertness by 54% and performance by 34%. However, further research has shown that a longer nap is more beneficial and keeping it in multiples of twenty minutes can prove more restorative.
A 40 to 60 minute nap can help to improve with memory, although it can take the mind and body a few minutes before it is ready to jump back into work. Some people can even benefit from longer naps, with a 90 minute nap being shown to help improve procedural memory, creativity, and emotions.
One of the biggest issues that employees have when it comes to taking a nap is finding a suitable environment. Trying to nap at your desk or in your car during a lunch break is incredibly uncomfortable and will result in disruption. To truly rest and recharge during the nap, employees need a space that is tranquil and free from distraction.
How Rest Space can help you
Here at Rest Space, we know how important napping can be in helping to improve employee wellness. That is why we have created an innovative solution that allows you to create a truly relaxing environment that has been specifically designed around your requirements.
Our unique spaces offer employees a private and spacious environment to sleep in. With voice-activated soothing lights and high-quality Bluetooth speakers playing gentle sounds, the area can provide the most relaxing nap possible. To maximise hygiene, each space also features ventilation fans to keep air circulating throughout while the mattress can be wiped clean and is made from antimicrobial fabrics.
In this fast-paced modern world, being able to recharge in the workplace is crucial in helping to improve the wellness and functionality of your team. Our unique spaces are inspired by the traditional Japanese nap pods, so if you want to find out more about our products, get in touch with our team today.