We're guessing that it's probably no later than 6 am in the morning when the baby starts crying or you having kids piling into your bed, waking you up and ready to start their day. You roll over with one eye open and pray that the coffee pot was set last night and is ready to rock and roll as you try your best to ease into your day. Sound familiar? Probably. Whether you head to the office after you scramble to pull yourself together or jump into full stay-at-home-mom mode, one thing is for certain: you're ready for a nap by lunch time. A new study supports those feelings and says that women should be allowed to nap at work.
Well, we can't really argue with this one. Our mom life schedules catch up with us pretty quickly and it can seem overwhelming when we don't get enough downtime to decompress. A study recently published in The New York Times shares that all employees can greatly benefit from even something as short as a twenty-minute nap. Hallelujah!
During the study, researchers tested subjects on their perceptual performance four times throughout the day. They found that their performance deteriorated with each test, but participants who took a 30-minute nap between tests stopped the deterioration in performance, and those who took a 60-minute nap even reversed it.
Sara Mednick, a co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside said that “naps had the same magnitude of benefits as full nights of sleep if they had a specific quality of nap.”
There is a catch, though. In order to benefit from this downtime during the day, you must not actually surpass that twenty-minute period of time. If you do, it will result in something called sleep inertia — a period of grogginess you may experience after a prolonged nap. We're all probably too familiar with this feeling, especially if you have ever laid down to get your child to sleep and accidentally woke up three house later. It happens to the best of us.
Obviously, sleeping at the workplace is taboo and definitely not allowed at most establishments, so it will probably be some time before we get businesses on board with this concept. Until then, there's always sleeping in your car for a quick power nap on your lunch break.