By Robert Channick
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a third of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night contributing to a range of work and health problems. Some companies are opting for a new unique solution to help people get the sleep they need.
Sleeping on the job has long been frowned upon, but office napping may finally be climbing out from under the desk.
A small but growing number of businesses are encouraging sleep-deprived employees to grab 40 winks during the workday, providing rooms, or, in some cases, high-tech napping pods, to get the job done right.
Benefits include a more productive workforce and, hopefully, the end to stealth sales meeting snoozes.
A third of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contributing to a range of problems, including health issues and mistakes at work.
Sleep deprivation costs the U.S. $411 billion in annual economic losses, according to a Rand Corp. study, with the equivalent of about 1.23 million working days lost each year due to insufficient sleep.
Cutting-edge businesses like Google have been providing napping spaces for employees for about a decade, but it remains a vaguely guilty endeavor in many workplaces, and a fireable offense in others. In some corporate cultures, being sleep-deprived is a source of pride.
“There’s kind of a badge of honor for how little you sleep in this world,” said Sara Mednick, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California at Irvine and author of a book on the benefits of napping. “The idea of napping in front of people while they’re all working really hard, there’s not a lot of respect for that.”