The rise and importance of power naps
What you will learn in this article…
We have been hardwired to nap throughout our evolution – Napping during the day is not a crime!
Listen to your body – Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty and sleep when you’re tired!
How the most innovative and prestigious companies are implementing napping into their businesses – Be healthier, happier and more productive by following the smart guys and girls!
How public venues are now implementing napping technology – Utilise nap areas in public places to recharge and refresh!
Why do we nap?
A full night’s sleep is still extremely important; however, as decedents of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we have been hardwired to sleep biphasically rather than monophasically.
Biphasic simply means “having two phases,” in contrast to monophasic which means “having a single phase.”
This is a habit passed on through generations of evolution and, although it may not abide to our cultural rules, it is something we cannot avoid.
Have you ever heard of the term “the graveyard slot” for speakers who present after lunch, or have you felt yourself drifting off or feeling drowsy after a midday feed; maybe whilst listening to that speaker?
This is because a midday nap was a normal part of our hunter-gatherer lives.
Tribes that have not conformed to the commercial world still have an afternoon nap and have done for thousands of years! Not to mention the more familiar habits of certain European residents who enjoy a good siesta!
Sleep when you’re tired
Our biology has developed to nap but forget the science for a moment and just think:
If your body tells you you’re hungry, do you eat?
If your body tells you you’re thirsty, do you drink?
If your body tells you you’re tired, do you sleep?
Unless you’re regimented to a specific diet, you generally eat when you’re hungry and drink when you’re thirsty.
So why is it that when you are drifting off at the computer screen or face-planting a study book, your body’s needs becomes less of a priority?
Why is it cool to stay awake and fight against “the honey-heavy dew of slumber,” as Shakespeare once put it?
Well, the answer is mainly because you can’t “do stuff” whilst you’re asleep. You can’t accomplish, achieve or succeed. You’re weak! Sleepin’s cheatin’!
Unfortunately, this is not true. As mentioned in our article The Importance Of Rest And Relaxation, napping is actually one way to become more productive.
How napping is being more mainstream
A growing number of commercial and public spaces are now being sown with modern napping technology.
Sleep pods or “nap pods” seem to be the latest health trend to hit our workplaces and hangout centres.
There are lots of companies producing these slumber machines in different shapes and sizes, from the spherical EnergyPod to the spaceship-like GoSleep Pod.
Such pods protect the personal space of users, concealing them in an uninterrupted bubble of slumber.
Creators of the EnergyPod, MetroNaps, boast additional features such as an optimally reclining bed for rest and blood flow, a built-in music system for additional relaxation and a timer system that gently wakes you up, using light and vibrations.
Who knows, one day it may replace your living room recliner!
Google, as always, was at the forefront of this trend. Back in 2010 Business Insider reported Google’s implementation of EnergyPods for its employees.
NASA was also in on the act, understanding that napping aided the health and productivity of their workforce.
It’s now commonplace to for successful companies to provide sleep pods or “shh” zones to their employees. Just some examples include: Uber, Samsung, Nike, Apple, Facebook, Cisco, JetBlue, Opel, The Huffington Post, Zappos and Ben & Jerry’s.
Even professional services organisations like PwC, KPMG and White & Case are implementing such measures.
A lot of companies are now realising the importance of a healthy workplace in promoting good performance. If the most successful and dynamic companies in the world are buying into it, why aren’t you?
Proctor & Gamble and Goldman Sachs even offer free sleep hygiene courses to their employees! Maybe they have read some of our articles in the workplace series:
- Why Rest And Relaxation Is Important In The Workplace.
- Techniques For Stress Relief At Work.
- Meditation For Busy People
- Techniques To Help Reduce Stress
These articles prove that working longer is not necessarily better, or as sustainable, as working smart; something that the most successful businesses seem to be recognising.
Airports, train stations, shopping centres, universities and schools all seem to be harmonising with the sleep trend.
Just a few places where you can find nap pods in public spaces include JFK airport, Abu Dhabi airport, Helsinki airport, The Dubai Mall, The University of Manchester, Western Sydney University, Edinburgh University and Washington State University.
Sleep technology seems to be at the forefront of futuristic public landscapes. Who knows, when our cars start driving themselves, we may be able to have a nap on the way to the office; if there is such a place as an office in the future!
As well as finding places to sleep in public places, you can also find them around public places. Pop & Rest is just an example of a business setting up nap pods near public facilities, such as train stations, so the busy commuter can “pop in and rest” (see what I did there?).
It’s important for you to understand that if you feel like a nap, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ill! It means you’re human!
Napping is something that has been passed on throughout our ancestry. If we are tired, we should sleep!
It is clear that the most innovative, prestigious companies are recognising the importance of sleep, rest and relaxation for the health and performance of our species.
Let’s be aware of this trend and use it to benefit our own health, performance and business.
Let me know how you are going to use the information presented in this article by using the comments box below! I can’t wait to hear about your dreams! 🙂