13 Aug Asleep at your desk? This could be a good thing!
Alger et al. recently published a letter to the editor in this months issue of the Journal of Sleep. She wished to address the stigma of napping, particularly at work. While the public is slowing growing an awareness to the importance of sleep, she suggests there is still a stigma towards napping. With napping considered a sign of laziness. To nap in the workplace is fairly uncommon, al least in Australia. While devices such a nap pods do exist at some companies (https://www.theguardian.com/business-to-business/2017/dec/04/clocking-off-the-companies-introducing-nap-time-to-the-workplace), generally seeing a staff member actively attempting to sleep in the workplace is uncommon. We know the cost of sleepiness via lost productivity is significant in the workplace. We also know that short naps improve alertness, creative problem solving, logical reasoning, learning and consolidates memory. Sleeping at work is not uncommon in some cultures including: Spain, Japan, Vietnam etc. So why is it taboo in other cultures, such as ours?
Perhaps a lack of knowledge, or applied research (in the workplace) may contribute to this? Perhaps the wheels of change are happening, with some companies beginning to show interest in optimising the alertness of their staff or minimising their fatigue. With the conversation beginning to grow, so will the literature and ultimately public perception and awareness of the objective benefits of napping on performance.
Sara E Alger, Allison J Brager, Vincent F Capaldi, Challenging the stigma of workplace napping, Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 8, August 2019, zsz097, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz097