Powernapping and sleeping as perennial topics
Sleeping is a real long-running topic for many people, you can also comment on that Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® read again and again. This shows how many people are suffering from sleep problems and therefore are forced to deal with this issue.
I have long been concerned with the best place to take a nap in the office. One of our readers then told how to do it:
Where do our readers sleep?
“Fortunately I have a single office and a folding bed in the closet. I am also active in science, so I hardly have any 'customer traffic'. The office is simply locked during the 'rest periods'. ”
Another reader reports how he went to the toilet for 15 minutes at noon to sleep. And otherwise my contribution about “sleeping in the office” received undivided approval.
In which Company are employees allowed to sleep?
The topic is very important. But are there any companies where employees can really sleep during their lunch break? Apart from employees, of course, who can take a break at lunchtime in the home office as part of their trust-based working hours. However, I know that from me, that then often enough, this possibility does not notice.
As part of New Work's corporate culture, all sorts of outside work spaces are moving into offices. But sleep? Only Google has been heard at appropriate premises. Rather, there are stories that workers in the financial sector are falling apart from fatigue.
Busyness show is more important than the work result
This is due to our attitude to work, the activity and constant productivity being rated higher than results. And so an afternoon nap is almost a sign of weakness, even though the work performance actually increases. It would make a lot of sense to check with your manager whether a short nap will be allowed in the future.
In addition, most people fill up too little light during the day because they work “indoors” and sit in front of the computer. This leads to a so-called "social jet lag". The internal clock is out of step, which also disturbs a healthy sleep rhythm.
So sleeping at lunchtime is not just a quirk that many a boss would like to wipe off the table with “such nonsense”. Rather, scientific studies, which I recently found by chance, show that taking a nap like this actually makes you more productive.
The best time for a nap is proven between 13 and 15 clock. In the much cited performance curve, this is the first big hole in the daily routine: The nap should not take longer than 30 minutes, because you should not arrive in the deep sleep phase. In that case, after awakening, you would be anything but alert and capable.
A study by the University of Colorado Boulder among two to three year old toddlers showed that without afternoon nap they had less joy and interest and even less problem solving ability.
And scientists at Berkeley Unit University found that 60 to 90 minutes of sleep in the afternoon improved learning and memory. The reason is that the body goes through the entire sleep cycle including REM phase in these 90 minutes. In this way the short-term memory is “refreshed” and afterwards more ready for new tasks.
5 points: How does missing sleep affect your performance?
Tony Schwartz, author of the Harvard Business Review blog, shows in his article various advantages of a short power nap during working hours. These include, for example:
- physically relaxing
- improved perception
- increased motor skills
- faster reaction time
- higher alertness
In one of his studies, the same task was performed on volunteers, some of whom were allowed nap and others were not. The nocturnal sleepers achieved significantly better results. Long-haul pilots had a 30% improved response time after a short sleep of 16 minutes, while non-nap pilots lost 34% during the flight. The clues are clear: the longer we work in one piece, the more our performance suffers. A nap will boost performance significantly.
How long to sleep?
But even shorter bed times are already extremely helpful, as Gregor Gross, Managing Director of alpha-board Gmbh, observed some time ago. So Gregor stated:
“Long-haul pilots had a 30% improved response time after a short 16-minute sleep, while non-nap pilots had a 34% decrease in response over the course of the flight.”
However, you probably know the feeling of feeling limp after half or even an hour of sleep: this is due to the fact that you were awakened from a deeper sleep phase. Nevertheless, this sleep is also restful for the brain.
5 tips for the ideal short sleep
However, if you want to avoid this unpleasant feeling, you should take a nap only 10 for 20 minutes - then he does not even come into the deep sleep phase and will wake up fresh and rested again. Therefore 5 tips for the ideal short sleep follow:
- Best between 13 and 15 clock
- Ideally in a special room (if not available: sign in front of the closed door)
- Switch off all technology: e-mail notification, telephone etc.
- Set the alarm to 30 minutes
- Close your eyes, but do not convulsively think about falling asleep, but simply breathe in and out deeply, thinking of something positive (ideally, nothing)
Convince the boss
With references to scientific findings and arguments, the boss might even be persuaded to approve a fold in the office:
After all, if you can work with twice as much creative power, your boss will also have something of it. And always remember: Science has already proved it!
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German edition: ISBN 9783965962668
English version: ISBN 9783965962675 (Translation notice)
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