How to Improve Safety and Performance at Work

Hi everyone

I’m sending out a media release today about why napping is preferred over caffeine and other stimulants at work.

You might be thinking “duh!”, but it seems most companies think there is a problem with napping at work.  As one article I read today said “it’s a hard sell!”

So why are most companies so reluctant to give full permission to napping – dare I say ENCOURAGE napping at work?

Napping has Proven Benefits

The proof is there.  The statistics and studies are there.  The ill-effects of fatigue are well documented.  The cost of lost productivity in Australia alone is quantified at $ 3.1 billion per year.  Some of the most successful and amazing organisations in the world are napping (e.g. NASA, Google, Nike, Deloitte).  Napping at work has been around since 1969 that we know of – and that company is still doing it!

And think of it, the siesta culture has been around for centuries.

So what gives?

Is it the image of walking around the office with everyone asleep at their desks that’s the problem – even if that would NEVER happen?  Not unless it was a “synchronized nap” – that’s a joke, actually.

Mind you, most of us were brought up at primary school with a period of the day where we were encouraged to put our head on to our desks and take a little kip to get us through the day.  Do you remember that?  I’ve got good memories of that.

Here’s the challenge.  Could we get even 10 per cent of companies into the 20th century by promoting napping at work?

Yes, I said the 20th century on purpose, it wasn’t a mistake.  I started napping 30 years ago – it is old news really.

21st century napping might include selecting the time of your nap, and the duration of your nap to achieve different napping objectives.

There are also different brain wave patterns you could access during your naps, again, customized to the experience you would prefer.  And various ways to achieve these different brain wave patterns.

And knowing that meditation is proven to be beneficial to anxiety and panic sufferers, perhaps we could ‘meditate’ instead of nap.  Now that word probably sent a few of you “off the page”!

Sorry guys and girls, but what was regarded as ‘woo woo’ in the 1970’s has now been supported by science – get used to it.

So while I’m here having my rant, did you know that:

  • Contrary to popular opinion, having a daytime nap can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep at night and improve the quality of your nocturnal sleep.
  • A nap of anything more than 6 minutes can be beneficial.
  • A 90 minute nap where you go through the a full selection of sleep/brainwave cycles can improve your performance like you have had a full night’s sleep?
  • If you’re going to nap for less than 90 minutes, go for 20 minutes or less – to avoid sleep inertia (that groggy feeling when you wake up from the deeper levels of sleep).
  • Did you know that you can customize the time and duration of your nap for different results?
What Sort of Work Situations Could Customized Napping Help?
  1. If you wanted to memorize information that you’ve just read, how would you best do that?
  2. If you had a large decision to make at work and it required you to take into account many pieces of information – how would you best deal with that?
  3. You’re just exhausted because you’ve been up for hours with your new baby last night.  How could you best recuperate from that?
  4. You notice that your motor skills are slowing – e.g. you’re making errors on your keyboard at your computer – how would you best remedy that?
  5. You’ve had too much detail to deal with today, you’ve got a scrambled head.  How would you clear out that detail, and start fresh again?
  6. You’ve got an important presentation to make after work, and you’re not confident that you’ll be fresh for it.  Is there a way to help with that?
  7. You’re feeling out of sorts because you got out of bed too early today for a meeting, and it’s not your normal ‘circadian pattern’ – can you do anything about that?
  8. You’re working a new shift and it takes you days to adjust to the new hours.  Can I do anything to help that?
  9. You work in a creative field, and you’d like to tune out for some relaxed, creative thinking time.  Is that possible?  How would you do that?  What about creative problem solving?  Is that possible?
  10. A couple of days a week you work two jobs, with a break in the middle.  Is there a way to optimize your health while you try to manage these hours?
Here are some of the questions people ask me:
  1. Are there ways to time your nap to exactly 20 minutes or less?
  2. Why the ’20 minute’ stipulation?  Is that a fixed rule?
  3. How long does it take before you really feel relaxed during your nap, and derive real benefits from it?  One day, 5 days, 2 weeks?  etc.
  4. Can I listen to a guided relaxation mp3 while I’m napping?  Is that still OK?
  5. Can I nap with my eyes open?
  6. What if someone disturbs me during my nap?
  7. How do I stop myself from totally falling asleep when I nap?
  8. I seem to fall asleep totally when I nap.  Is it OK?  Are there ways to avoid that?  When is it OK?
  9. Should I nap before eating at lunch time, or after?
  10. Sometimes I eat to keep myself alert and awake.  If I nap will I be less likely to want coffee, sweets and fattening foods?

Click here to see the media release on coping with fatigue.

Enter Your Comments in the Comments Section Below:

Tell us, do you nap at work?  What is your best way to nap?

Do you feel OK to nap at work or are you doing it on the sly?

They say 37-40% are napping, but where do you do it?  Or are you waiting to get home to have a sleep?

What do you think?  Have you napped?












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