I would like to start this post by saying that I am not one of those people who suddenly discovered naps in college and realized what they had been missing their entire life. No, I have always been a firm believer in the power of taking a break, catching a few z's and powering through the rest of the afternoon.
College was great because classes ended at 2 and there was the perfect amount of time before homework and evening activities began. Sadly an 8-5 office environment doesn't provide much in the way of nap time and/or place. A time or two I've thought about putting a blanket and pillow under my desk...only downside is they never vacuum under there and a lot of people walk by my cubicle every day so that could get a little awkward.
Now onto my 10 reasons why offices should allow siestas:
1. Studies show that 20 minutes of sleep (aka the ultimate power nap) improves memory, alertness and energy. It's science, people.
2. Italy and Spain shut down for a few hours in the afternoon. But let's not talk about how their economies are in the toilet and perhaps there is a correlation between siestas and a lack of productivity.
3. All of the big tech companies have rooms of nap pods. Clearly this point cancels out my previous comment because tech companies are getting stuff done. If a new version of the iPhone can come out every year, then nap pods are doing something right in this world in the way of productivity.
4. You won't have to feel guilty about eating a carb-loaded lunch. Have you ever made the mistake of bringing last night's spaghetti leftovers only to regret the decision a few hours later when the sleepy feeling that only comes from a full stomach sets in? Don't even get me started on bringing leftover Thanksgiving turkey for lunch. A nap is required afterwards; there's something in the turkey.
5. Everyone is then in a good mood. I would argue to HR that naps are a step in the right direction to improving employee morale.
6. They are stress relievers. Less stress = a more positive work environment
7. People are already taking 15 minutes for an afternoon coffee run, just let them take a nap and save the $5 on the venti americano.
8. Actually, naps are better than a cup of coffee. Caffeine can impair motor sequence and declarative verbal memory.
9. Nap rooms and nap-friendly offices are great selling features if you are wanting to recruit people to work for your company. Most people are pro-nap.
10. You can save the time googling how to sleep with your eyes open. No more trying to fake it.