Sleeping on the job is one of those workplace taboos — like leaving your desk for lunch or taking an afternoon walk — that we’re taught to look down on. If someone naps at 2 p.m. while the rest of us furiously write memos and respond to emails, surely it must mean they’re slacking off. Or so the assumption goes.
To be sure, the ability to nap at work is far from widespread, experts said. Few among us have the luxury of being able to step away for a half-hour snoozefest. But lunch hours and coffee breaks can be great times to duck out, and your increased productivity and alertness will be all the evidence you need to make your case to inquiring bosses.
In an ideal world, we’d all solve this problem by unplugging early and getting a good night’s sleep. Here’s our guide on how to do just that. But the next best thing is stealing away for a quick power nap when you’re dragging after lunch.
(The Japanese even have a word for strategically sleeping on the job: “inemuri,” roughly translated to “sleeping while present.” Now is a good moment to pause and email this story to your boss.)
The Virgin Pulse Institute announced the results today of a sleep study conducted in November 2013 with approximately 1,140 Virgin Pulse members, from three U.S.-based companies. Researchers found that:
- 76 percent of employees felt tired most days of the week
- 40 percent of employees doze off during the day once per month
- 30 percent of employees were unhappy or very unhappy with the quality or quantity of their sleep
- 15 percent doze off during the day at least once per week to once per day
Participants noted that lack of sleep impacted their energy and motivation to participate in physical activities and eat healthy foods. They experienced difficulty concentrating at work or remembering tasks, and felt more irritable at work and home. Sleeplessness also made it harder to manage stress, further impacting their difficulties sleeping.
If you have trouble staying awake at work or anywhere else during the day, call Alaska Sleep Clinic to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists.