February 8, 2014


The one quick way to boost worker productivity It takes place in the bedroom, not the office... (Maureen Mackey, 2/06/14, The Fiscal Times)

"Poor sleep has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease," researcher Mark Wahlqvist of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, said in a statement.

Our chronically tired society has created a lucrative industry, which is why the American sleep economy recently climbed to $32.4 billion a year.

It's nearly impossible, of course, for most of us to overhaul our nighttime sleep habits in the blink of an eye -- that generally takes a dedicated, sustained effort, often with the help of professionals. Yet there's one relatively simple thing we can do to begin to pay down our sleep debt and, in the process, fix our productivity: Take a nap.

While brief daytime naps won't completely compensate for inadequate or poor nighttime sleep, taking a regular snooze of 20 to 30 minutes can help improve our mood, alertness and performance, say the experts. If you're feeling sleepy during the day, "a 20-minute nap can work wonders," said sleep specialist Patty Tucker of Napa Valley, California.

Dr. Amanda Beck, a professor of sleep medicine at the University of New Mexico, said taking a nap "is a good idea. Put a note on the door and nod out for 15 minutes. In a lot of ways, having a nap is a lot better than a cup of coffee," she told ABC News.

Naps can be classified in three ways, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

Planned napping is taking a nap before you're sleepy, such as when you know you'll be up later than usual. It can be used to ward off tiredness later.

Emergency napping is when you're suddenly so tired you can't continue with your current activity. This nap can help combat drowsy driving or fatigue brought on by physical labor.

Habitual napping is taking a nap at the same time every day, such as naps taken by young children or naps by older adults right after lunch.

Many employers are becoming savvy to the benefits of napping and are looking anew at tiny closets or other seldom used spots and remodeling them into functional nap rooms. This is boosting a relatively new segment of the sleep industry.

Posted by at February 8, 2014 7:36 AM

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