SAN ANTONIO — If the change to Daylight Saving Time had you dragging through the day Monday, you may not have known that you can “spring forward” without losing that hour of sleep. Monday was National Napping Day, and many who celebrated with a few minutes of shut-eye found the power of taking naps regularly.
If you spent most of Monday’s work day dozing off at the office, you may be among the 50 percent of American workers who admit to being drowsy on the job. KENS 5 did some National Napping Day research, and found three promising benefits for catching up on rest.
TOP THREE NAPPING BENEFITS
1: BETTER MOOD AND OVERALL HEALTH
A Harvard Medical School study showed how sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress, anger, sadness, and mental exhaustion. Taking a nap can help to repay sleep debt. This research also confirmed that napping can reduce blood pressure, prevent stress-related illnesses, and boost the immune system. There's no need for a four-hour "depression nap." Sleep doctors said twenty minutes a day can do the trick.
2: BETTER JOB PERFORMANCE
Besides improving creativity and memory, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that simply lying down could be the secret to raising productivity on the job. According to an article they published on sleep.org, “lack of sleep costs the U.S. $63 billion each year in productivity.” A 20-minute nap each day is said to boost alertness and overall job performance.
Sleep has become such a trendy topic in the workplace that many large companies, which are known for their creativity and great minds, have actually made investments into sleep rooms and sleep pods, allowing employees to catch some Z’s on the clock.
3: INCREASED ALERTNESS AND SAFETY:
The American Sleep Foundation reported that 40 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel last year. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that drowsy driving is the cause of more than 300,000 crashes each year in the U.S., 6,400 of which are fatal.
A study performed by NASA on pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap increased alertness by 34 percent and increased performance by 100 percent.