I think many of us have had times when we just couldn’t keep our eyes open and have fallen asleep “on duty”.

It also happened to me many times while I was taking my lunch break. I can’t even count how many times I dozed off and bumped my head on something. Sometimes, when I was too tired, I’d even go to the washroom and wash my face a little, so I could wake up and concentrate on my tasks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. After lunch, it usually gets worse and I get even more sleepy and my efficiency lowers too because I am unable to focus.

Working while not focusing also means less productivity. And working so many hours like the Japanese tend to do... Well, sometimes that might not be the best way to go for it. Quantity doesn’t always mean quality.

It has been proven in Japan, too, that by decreasing working hours and adopting different methods not only increases productivity but also creates a better working environment, making both employees and the company happy. Killing two birds with one stone, I’d say.

Companies in Japan have found another method to keep their employees focused and enable them to communicate more effectively with each other: introducing power naps.

What are Power Naps?

The power nap is a short sleep that lasts between 15-20 minutes and clears your mind, charges you so you can concentrate on your duties afterward. I tried it a few times, so I can say it works (that is if you manage to wake up within that time). It made me feel refreshed and more focused every time I tried napping for 20 minutes or so.

The Power Nap Project

Studies show that Japan has little awareness when it comes to sleep, therefore many people end up being sleep-deprived and unable to do their work properly. To change this situation and make citizens more aware, the Power Nap Project was formed. Companies have already started introducing this concept in the office.

For example, participating companies are now distributing hoodie blankets and are supporting the idea of taking naps while in the office.

Creating an environment suitable to take naps at work is one of their aims. By doing so, they also encourage coworkers to talk to each other. Some of the companies take turns and have their coworkers wake them.

Many employees who are part of the project affirmed that by doing so, they feel refreshed and started talking more with their coworkers. Their teamwork improved, too.

It is estimated that in a few years, naps included in the work schedule will become mandatory in Japanese companies and that it will lead to more benefits on both sides. The project has already started, so I guess we’ll need to wait and see what the future will bring us.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll go and take a nap. Maybe when I wake up, the laws will have already changed. Who knows? For now, Oyasumi and sweet dreams to you all.

By - cinnamonellie.