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Sleeping on the job...

Today is National Siesta Day in the UK, which aims to encourage company bosses to allow staff to have an afternoon power nap. 

On his Web site Noel Kingsley, founder of Siesta Awareness and organiser of National Siesta Day -  which is in its third year - says he has been taking a daily siesta for over 15 years and believes that most people benefit by having a bit of shut-eye after lunch.

Siesta Awareness says the post-lunch nap has not yet been adopted in Britain and is often considered a sign of weakness, but regular napping can benefit health and productivity.

Apparently research shows that a regular 10-20 cat nap can improve alertness by up to 100%, improve productivity by over 30%, reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34% and improve negotiation and communication skills.

According to a Financial Times report, Procter and Gamble,Cisco, Goolge and PWC are a few of the businesses that do recognise the benefits of 40 winks at work and allow staff to take a siesta.

Some of the companies mentioned have even supplied staff with so-called sleep pods supplied by New York-based Metronaps, which describes itself as a "provider of professional fatigue risk management solutions".

Metronap's Web site says most work spaces do not offer their employees a place to nap and its "EnergyPods" have been developed to solve this problem.

The pods, which look like loungers with a half-dome over the headrest, have a built-in music player with headphones - to eliminate surrounding distractions - while a timer embeded in the arm rest wakes the user gently "with a combination of lights and vibration".

Researched and tested at Carnegie Mellon University, MetroNaps says the EnergyPod "is an elegant yet simple device that counters the problem of employee workday fatigue".

But if you are stilll unconvinced about the benefits of snoozing - and in the absence of an EnergyPod in your office - you can get a few tips about napping from Take a Nap! Change Your Life, by Harvard University sleep expert Dr Sara Mednick.

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 02 July, 2008, 14:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes I have a rather comfortable padded leather recliner in the office which has been known to host a sieta or two, particularly in the days following my return from another time zone. If it is short I feel better and certainly more alert than before (or during) my nap. I'm all for it, but it might be a bit of a challenge to manage it on a production line or in a mine, so it may not find broad industry support. Apparently several industries have been piloting it successfully for years, politicians, railway...

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