There’s one topic that scientists, busy professionals and toddlers can agree on: the need for sleep, specifically a mid-day nap.
Research shows that napping can help increase productivity, improve overall health, and make us all-around happier people.
However, according to a 2016 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, defined as seven or more hours per day.
For many households with kids to take care of, demanding careers to tend to and social lives to maintain, it can be hard to find enough shut-eye time.
But considering that lack of sleep costs the U.S. economy $411 billion in lost productivity each year and leads to higher mortality risk, more needs to be done to ensure a well-rested society.
Companies allowing their employees more flexible working schedules and the freedom to take mid-day naps would be steps in the right direction.
Here are five reasons why napping is in your — and your company’s — best interest.
In the springtime, a nap helps reset our natural time-clock. When we spring our clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time, we lose an hour of sleep. Every morning the week after we adjust the clocks feels like slogging through a fog to get to work. The time change is so disruptive that there’s even a holiday, National Napping Day, dedicated to regaining the lost energy.
Sara Mednick, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, and author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life,” states that a mid-day nap will help invigorate the day without affecting a night’s sleep. Naps are especially beneficial to mid-day workers because of the boost in short-term alertness they cause.
Taking a work-nap break is easy using HotelsByDay. Many of our day hotel rooms include amenities like black-out drapes, double-pane windows, and best of all, climate controlled cloud-like beds.
Power Down To Power Up!
We work too much. We carry too much stress. We’re always in a hurry. These are the downsides to the convenient, fast-paced digital economy. Our brains aren’t evolutionarily used to this; they need downtime to recharge. Only sleep can provide this.
Americans work more hours per year than any developed country, but the productivity per hour lags behind many industrialized countries. It makes sense: research from the National Institute of Health ties sleep deprivation to impaired cognitive performance. Being well-rested improves creativity, aids learning and make us less likely to experience burnout.
Melts Away the Pounds
Studies show that insufficient sleep impacts weight. When the brain is sleep deprived it starts signaling the body that it should eat something. Two hormones control the impulses: ghrelin, which tells the body to eat more, and leptin, which alerts it to stop eating. Lack of sleep increases the ghrelin levels (bad) and reduces the leptin levels (worse)! Sleep deprivation also zaps our energy to do healthy things like exercise, walk the dog or play with the kids. Being sleep deprived, according to the University of Chicago, also makes you metabolically groggy, diminishing insulin that maintains the body’s ability to process sugar and starches into energy instead of fat.
If you have trouble getting enough sleep at home, take refuge in a day hotel room to restore your body and mind.
Improves Immune System
A lack of sleep has been shown to hinder immune function and increase cardiovascular risks. There’s also a link between being sleep deprived and the onset of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, studies show that a lack of sleep revs up the body’s emergency stress system, triggering myriad physiological problems. The University of Chicago studied the correlation between sleeping and flu shots. Men who were vaccinated while sleep deprived produced fewer antibodies to the flu virus than those adequately rested!
Makes You Look & Feel Better
Physical maladies, such as increased headaches, stomach issues, and metabolic changes, are linked to sleep deprivation. Meanwhile, during deep sleep, the body secretes growth hormones which help produce muscle mass and contribute to better-looking skin. According to the director of the Atlantic Health Sciences Sleep Centre, without a deep slumber, the growth hormones in the body plummets. Being deprived of sleep is also reported to put the body into a hyper-aroused state. The effect has been shown to increase depression and mood swings.
Deep down, we all know adequate sleep helps us reach our peak mental and physical state. But sometimes, it takes the cold hard facts to get us to change our ways.
Make your transition smoother by taking advantage of a comfortable, private room to take a quick daytime nap.