A siesta is a short power nap taken in the early afternoon, often after lunch.
Google. Uber. Ben & Jerry’s. Zappos. PwC. The Huffington Post. What do these companies have in common?
Besides the fact that they are giants in their respective fields, they all, surprisingly, allow afternoon naps at the office.
In the wake of recent news that Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, has proposed to end the long standing tradition of the siesta in Spain, we’ve decided to investigate the issue.
While it is important to note that the Spanish siesta is traditionally 2 hours long as opposed to the 30 minute naps that have become common practice in the giant companies mentioned above, much is to be said about the benefits of an afternoon nap.
According to research from the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of Americans claim that sleep deprivation effects their daily activities and efficiency. From an economic view, lack of sleep costs American companies roughly 63 billion dollars a year!
From a physiological standpoint, the benefits are undeniable. Napping boosts productivity by enabling employees to regain concentration during the middle of the day. Also, taking a nap can potentially reduce levels of depression and anxiety. This is because a nap can reduce levels of cortisol, which is a blood sugar elevating hormone.
So perhaps these companies, that are obviously extremely successful, understand a thing or two about productivity and efficiency. Maybe it’s not so surprising after all that these companies have rest areas and nap pods in their offices.
As a nap-lover myself, all I can say is – viva la siesta!