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Power Naps for Productivity?

It may seem counterintuitive, but some companies support catnaps on the clock and even provide special spaces for it. Here are a few facts to consider: 

  • The CDC has labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic, citing links to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and medical and other occupational errors.
  • Drowsy driving is estimated to be the cause of 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the U.S. 
  • Sleep deprivation causes the mind to shut down and creativity, critical thinking and even paying attention becomes difficult.
  • Long term, sleep deprivation contributes to deteriorating health; sufferers are at an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression (and increased healthcare costs).
  • According to a 1997 survey, sleeplessness costs U.S. employers an estimated $18 billion in lost productivity annually. 
  • In one study of NASA pilots, naps improved work performance by 34 percent!


A good napping policy may help reduce your company’s risk for fatigue-related accidents and workers’ compensation costs, especially in the case of sleep disrupting shift work like law enforcement and medical and transportation services. If you offer a lunch break, why not a power nap break?


Power Nap                   Benefit

10 to 20 minutes           Boosts alertness and performance

30 to 60 minutes           Good for memory and recall

60 to 90 minutes           Great for creative problem solving


Caution: After 20 or 30 minutes, nappers run a risk of waking up groggy.