Naps at Work? More Employers Believing in Power of the Pillow

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Boosted productivity. Increased alertness. Enhanced creativity. Lower stress.

These are just a few reasons that some organizations are allowing - and encouraging - naps in the workplace.

Fortune 500 organizations across industries are taking steps to incorporate napping into employees' daily lives. Companies such as AOL, P&G, and Cisco all have 'Energy Pods' in their offices - futuristic capsules that allow the napper to sleep in relaxing quarters until a decided upon timer awakes them to continue their day.

Zappos, Ben & Jerry's, and Nike have in-house "quiet rooms" in which employees can meditate or nap.

Companies like Yahoo! and Time Warner ensure they provide their employees relax time at local spas, including aromatherapy rooms and nap areas with nature soundtracks.

Some organizations are even going as far as encouraging napping at your desk - Workman Publishing distributes yoga mats and eye masks and encourages employees to nap behind room dividers or right where they sit.

According to 'Take a Nap! Change Your Life,' 20-30 minute naps have been shown to:

  • improve accuracy
  • strengthen stamina
  • improve decision making
  • elevate mood
  • bolster memory
  • lessen the frequency of migraines and ulcers

Tony Schwartz, author of 'The Way We're Working Isn't Working,' suggests office siestas have been discouraged in the U.S. because of the way we inaccurately associate hours worked with productivity. In reality, Schwartz says, it's not about how many hours, but how the hours are being spent in the workplace that truly discerns what gets accomplished.

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