Over 3 million Massachusetts residents are employed in thousands of workplaces throughout the Commonwealth. Perhaps you’re one of them.
Despite the varying nature of our jobs, there are common themes that work plays in our lives: it provides income and often other economic benefits, and for many of us, a sense of meaning as well as social support. Clearly, work is vital to our well-being. That being said, work environments, including work organization factors, can negatively affect our health.
Having breakfast around 7am and a lunch break between 11 and 1pm, the stretch before dinner seems miles away. This is why many workers stash a bag of chips in their locker or have a candy bowl on their desk to make it through to the end of the work day. However, these habits can contribute to poor health outcomes, such as obesity and/or hypertension from high-sodium snacks.
After changing jobs and starting work two hours earlier, Evan was nodding off by early afternoon. It was then he discovered the power nap. Evan slipped into his car everyday after lunch and for 15 - 20 minutes he took a restorative nap. This left him alert, happy and energized for the rest of the afternoon.
Sleep science tells us that Evan’s power nap decreased his stress, increased his stamina, improved his concentration and sharpened his memory. All of these benefits mean more productivity for his employer.
What was the down side? Evan had to rest in his car. Yes, a vehicle is a comfortable place to take a quick nap. For some industries such as transportation and utilities, it may be preferable. For other businesses there are ways to support napping in the workplace. Start by learning more about your employees and their sleep habits.