Napping on the job could boost productivity: study
Published Friday, July 3, 2015 1:20PM EDT
Sleeping on the job might be a sure way to get fired, but new research says allowing workers to catch a few more zzz's could make them better able to face the day.
One new study finds midday naps can help people push through on-the-job frustrations.
The researchers, from the Univeristy of Michigan, say naps could be an easy and cost-efficient way for employers to increase workplace safety.
For the study, the researchers recruited 40 adults who were asked to get a good night's rest three nights in a row. They had them complete tasks on computers, as well as answer survey questions about sleepiness, mood and impulsivity.
Some of the group were then allowed to take a one-hour nap, while the rest watched a nature video.
When the participants were then asked to try to complete more tasks on the computers, those who had napped spent more time trying to solve the task than the non-nappers.
The nappers also reported they were more willing to endure frustration during the task and said they felt less impulsive than the non-nappers.
Psychology doctoral student Jennifer Goldschmied, who led the research, says other studies have shown that staying awake for long periods of time can make people more prone to anger and frustration.
"Napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time, by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks," Goldschmied said in a statement.
Another research paper out this week notes that a history of poor sleep habits – not just one night of sleep deprivation -- can hinder people's self-control, making them more likely to be inattentive and make poor decisions.
"Self-control is part of daily decision-making," said Clemson University psychology professor June Pilcher. "Our study explored how sleep habits and self-control are interwoven and how sleep habits and self-control may work together to affect a person's daily functioning."
Poor sleep habits – including not enough shuteye or inconsistent sleep times – can wear away at self-control, they say.
"Exercising self-control allows one to make better choices when presented with conflicting desires and opportunities. That has far-reaching implications to a person's career and personal life," Pilcher said.