The post-lunch nap has not yet been adopted in some countries and it is often considered a sign of weakness. However the ‘Power Nap’ as it is commonly called, offers real benefits to health, productivity and wellbeing.
Very recent researches show that we have a strong biological tendency to become tired in the early afternoon. And a short 10-20 minute nap in the middle of a working day can increase productivity by over 30% and alertness by 100% as well as improve memory and concentration. Recent researches also show that we can also reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34%. Sleep deprivation has been shown to make weight loss more difficult as well as cause accidents at work and on the road. Even 5 minutes of sleep after lunch will be beneficial.To sum up, the benefits of the 10-20 minute nap or siesta are more energy, improved productivity by over 30%, improved alertness by up to 100%, reduction of stress and decrease in the risk of heart disease by 34%, better negotiation and communication skills, reduction of risk of accidents at work and on the road and happiness and wellbeing.
National Siesta Day 2007 was commemorated on 11th July in UK. Apart from communicating the many benefits of having a regular daily nap, the main purpose of the event was to help make the practice of having a short post-lunch nap acceptable practice. Running for its second year it received widespread radio and TV coverage and thousands of people voiced their support. National Siesta Day is one day in the year when we can all close our eyes for 10-20 minutes during our normal lunch break without fear of criticism. Company bosses are encouraged to let their staff have a nap as part of their normal lunch break, avoiding disruption to work. National Siesta Day is a non-commercial, non-profit making Awareness Day.
The short nap is an effective tool in helping us to be more healthy, alert and productive in the afternoon. Potentially it can help reduce the risk of illness and accidents, relieving some pressure and it is really good for us. In some countries like France “Sleep Parlours” are becoming popular as people are becoming aware of the importance of sleep, especially of “SIESTA’ – a short nap after lunch.
But the siesta should not exceed 15 to 30 minutes to avoid the adverse effects of day-sleep.