Why sleep experts encourage naps while on the job

What has modern research uncovered about our need for sleep in order to function at our optimum best in our personal and professional lives?

Sleep scientist Daniel Gartenberg revealed new information about sleep in a recent interview with Quartz Africa. Gartenberg explained that “8.5 hours of sleep is the new eight hours,” at least for most adults, according to a Penn State professor he collaborates with, Orfeu Buxton.

He however then attributed poor sleeping habits to stressful external factors such as our work, stating “I think of sleep like the new worker’s rights: We’re being worked to the point that we’re not sleeping, and it’s having physical detriments on our health and wellbeing.”

READ MORE: DEBBIE REINDERS HALL ON THE SCIENCE OF GOOD SLEEP WHEN TRAVELLING

“People should be able to sleep like they’re able to get healthcare. This also means making our work environments more conducive to sleep,” he added. Enter the power nap at midday, or as the Spanish call it, the siesta.

In Japan, the practice has been in existence for roughly 1000 years, according to The New York Times, and is called “inemuri” – an encouraged show of dedication to your work, so much so, that it is a socially accepted in shared public spaces like sidewalks, according to Next Shark.

In an article by Elm Workspace – a UK-based company that offers services such as commercial interior design – looked into whether sleeping pods were a good idea for the office, with the likes of Google having long offered these to employees. “The benefits of a quick nap are well established; a refreshed mental state, a more easily focused mind and the ability to mentally process things more effectively. This translates into a more productive employee who is more likely to make the correct decisions and produce the highest standard of work,” it said.

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