If you really want to see an improvement in your performance at work, a 30-40 minute mid-afternoon siesta may prove an effective strategy, for a study suggests that this can boost alertness and productivity.
Google, Nike and Virgin Active are among some of the companies that already have facilities like dome-shaped, sci-fi-style sleep pods. And Bradley Whitwell, a Brain and Mind Research Institute senior research fellow, says that allowing employees to have mid-workday naps can help them become more useful.
He said that there was an early-afternoon fall in alertness called the "post-prandial dip". "We assert that daytime napping may prove beneficial . . . (and) create a more efficient work environment," the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying. The researcher further said that employees feeling tired after a nap could be fed caffeine before their shut-eye to curb its effects. "By the time that the caffeine is in the system and absorbed, that's about the same time they're waking up," Whitwell said.
He, however, admits that there is still some time before Australian employers accept work naps. "Workplace napping is not something that is part of our work culture, there'd need to be a considerable shift...to see someone sleeping on the job," Whitwell said.
"It (a sleeping pod) needs to fit in with the aesthetics of companies and...having that included as part of a workplace's design," the researcher added.