Beachwood, Ohio (PRWEB) February 19, 2008
When's the last time your boss at work said, go ahead and take a nap? After your boss and coworkers hear this news, it will probably be happening quite often.
Sleeping on the job traditionally has been frowned on by managers nationwide. Yet, with Americans working longer and harder everyday, the stress of the daily grind often takes its toll, with many workers becoming very tired during the day. Fortunately, now, a growing number of scientific studies are showing that taking a power-nap can prevent burnout, while increasing performance; and that napping in the afternoon is actually much better than a hit of caffeine, or even extra morning sleep.
In a landmark new study, presented to the WolrdSleep 07 conference in Cairns, Dr. Clare Anderson from Loughborough University analyzed fatigue-beating techniques to see how they affected a person's levels of alertness. "The caffeine didn't perform so well, only showing improvements within two hours of drinking it," said lead researcher Dr Clare Anderson. However, "We found that the nap was much more effective... the improvement in their state was strong, immediate and lasted right until a test we took at 7.45pm that night," Dr. Anderson revealed.
Yet for folks with truly stressful jobs, will a quick nap really do any good? NASA was concerned to, since American astronauts are constantly working long hours in a very stressful environment. To find out, recently NASA funded a study on napping. In those experiments, led by David Dinges, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, volunteers spent days living on one of 18 different sleep schedules, all in a laboratory setting. To measure how effective the naps were, the scientists gave the volunteers a battery of tests probing memory, alertness, response time, and other cognitive skills throughout the experiment. The scientists found that working memory performance actually did benefit from the naps.
That's great news for our men and women working in space, but how about down on Earth? Is it actually effective and practical to nap at work? Experimenters wanted to know too. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), funded a team of doctors, led by Alan Hobson, M.D., Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., and colleagues in a Harvard University short sleep study that showed a midday snooze reverses information overload. Reporting in Nature Neuroscience, Sara Mednick, Ph.D., Stickgold and colleagues also demonstrated that "burnout" irritation, frustration and poorer performance on a mental task can set in as a day of training wears on. Their study also proved that in some cases napping could even boost performance back to morning levels. The NIMH team wrote "The bottom line is: we should stop feeling guilty about taking that "power nap" at work."
How to get needed rest on the job
Though when we want to nap, especially in the workplace, it may be difficult to take a nap on cue, at a prescribed break-time. So, settling into a nap when one needs to can be difficult. Most experts recommend a dim, relatively quiet environment if possible, but often that's not easy, so what can be done to get needed rest while at work? To provide a solution, researchers at Power-Nap.com used advanced computer technology to combine the brain-wave patterns of an accelerated sleep cycle with the sound a peaceful waterfall, creating the Power-Nap Nap-Machine (TM) that helps listeners feel rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated in record time. Users say it gives them the feeling of 3 hours of deep sleep in just 20 minutes. "It's a great way to get the extra energy that I need for my day!" raved Erica Brown, a school teacher from Utah. The digital audio technology is now also available as an inexpensive audio CD, available at Power-Nap.com/pr5
A good nights sleep is still essential too, but experts agree, for those long hard days at the office, remember that an afternoon power-nap is backed by scientific studies showing it's good for you, it can increase performance, improve memory and also helps prevent burnout. So now, next time you've got a short work break, rather than take a hit of caffeine, try a quick power-nap and feel for yourself, how much better it feels. Your boss may be next.
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Steven / Power-Nap Media Relations
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