In Defense of the Nap

As a university for creatives, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) aims to provide access to resources that help promote the “unobstructed flow of creative juices.” To that end, the university began offering EnergyPods—also known as zero-gravity “nap pods”—on campus about 15 years ago, and is adding to the fleet each year. “Research has shown that 15-20 minute naps have amazing benefits and can positively impact areas like mood, alertness and creativity to name a few,” said Dr. Latoya Moss, Director of Counseling and Student Support Services.

The university goes so far as to refer to the capsules as a “symbolic reminder of the need to recharge,” and Moss says she’s seen the benefits firsthand — not only in the form of increased creativity in work products, but also in increased creativity around ways to socialize and collaborate during the COVID era. “Many of our bodily systems and symptoms can be regulated by sleep.”

The benefits aren’t lost on Kelly Murray, child and adult sleep coach. “Naps have been shown to improve mood, alertness, productivity, relaxation and learning,” she says, adding that companies like Ben & Jerry, Google, Cisco, Huffington Post and Facebook have also embraced nap rooms. “In fact, a study from the University of California Riverside showed that individuals were able to remember new information as well after taking a 60- to 90-minute nap as they did after a full night’s sleep.”

However, for those who have trouble sleeping at first, Murray recommends a few specifics: “Keep your nap for about 20 minutes and take it in the early afternoon, so it doesn’t negatively affect your night’s sleep. Long naps can make you feel sluggish. sleep “.

But, overall, Murray considers any company that promotes daytime naps is making a smart move. “Not only do they raise morale, but studies have indicated that they boost the bottom line: Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that after three weeks of daily 30-minute naps, the productivity of data entry workers increased by 2.3 percent.”

Dr. Anna Persaud, biochemist and CEO of This Works, is also a huge fan of naps — so much so that her line has two separate collections dedicated to the “power of sleep.”

“The past 18 months have been turbulent, and we need to prioritize sleep more than ever,” she says, noting that several studies show that even a single night of missed sleep can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. – Being. “It is essential not only for good health and well-being, but for survival as well. It protects mental and physical health, which leads to a safer and better quality life. Naps can be a useful tool to help maintain focus, productivity and motivation, and research indicates that during working hours naps in The United States is on the rise, and potentially related to working from home. Figures show that remote employees are twice as likely to take naps during the workday than their office counterparts.”

Like Murray, Persaud recommends a 20-minute time frame, but says that a 90-minute nap has been shown to improve cognitive performance, mood, and creativity — and since it’s the complete sleep cycle as you go from light to deep sleep to light sleep, it helps prevent any grogginess. “We have a normal afternoon slack between 1 and 3 p.m. which is an ideal time to take a nap. However, if a midday nap is not possible, a window between 5 and 7 p.m. is also good for a short 20-minute nap. Up to 20 A minute is long enough to give you an instant spike in alertness, performance, and mood—but short enough to stay in a light sleep and wake up easily, refreshed, and ready to go.”

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