By Cara Moore
Does your team need an afternoon pick me up? Then let them eat cake. No! Let them nap!
Do you feel sluggish in the early afternoon? Do the right words for an email seem elusive? Do tasks
seem to take longer, and errors crop up in analytical work? Do you stifle a yawn and your
concentration wanders in a zoom call? And by late afternoon do you find yourself feeling irritated
and snapping at people? Then the energy, mood and focus reboot you need is a nap. It’s easy, free
and takes no longer than making and drinking a cup of coffee. It’s healthier too. Anecdotally you
might agree, but still refrain because of thinking the best way to get through your To Do List is to
keep going and power through. Not to mention the stigma of sleeping in the day. Snooze you lose,
I am a Nap Ninja – that means I love to nap and I’m very good at it. I nap nearly every day and I tell
people I nap. I have a company ProNappers dedicated to normalising napping in the working day. I
believe, and research supports this, that the best way to get things done efficiently and effortlessly is
to switch off when your batteries are running low and recharge. Power Up by powering down. Not
listening to your aching brain, drooping eyelids, restless twitches is not lazy, but crazy!
The evidence for having a nap – and the cost of being tired
But don’t just listen to me. Sleep.org, whose mission is to provide informative, evidence-based
content and recommendations about sleep health and science says that:
“Workplace naps provide a great benefit to employees and their work. Naps enhance alertness,
strengthen memory, and improve emotions.
Researchers suggest that employers look at the cost of not allowing naps. Insufficient employee
sleep leads to:
- Less productivity
- More absences at work
- Greater risk of errors
- Increased chance of workplace accidents and injuries
- Higher health care costs
- Company financial loss”
So what should you do?
During the pandemic, more people kept their sanity and productivity by having a nap. It was one of
the upsides of working from home. Now as people are looking at hybrid working and returning to
the office, companies cannot afford not to include naps – where to nap AND permission to nap – into
their employee wellbeing provision.
The change starts with YOU.
Tell people you are blocking out time in your diary for a nap
Tell people the difference it makes to you
Tell your teams it’s as okay to have a nap as it is to have a break for lunch, go for a run or meditate
Ask your employers for a designated quiet room
Do you need more convincing?
Napping is natural. Our circadian rhythms means that even if we sleep well at night, we have an
energy lull in the middle of the day that is replenished with a quick refreshing power nap. But for
people who do not sleep well at night, having a nap is a life-changer. Maybe you do drink too much
coffee or not take enough exercise or stay up too late online or binge-watching Netflix, and yes you
could help yourself. But what if you are woken at night by a racing mind and anxious thoughts about
work, or you’re a parent with wakeful children, or getting older and affected by hot sweats or
multiple visits to the loo? The World Sleep Society has ten tips for a good night’s sleep and the
Number 2 tip is have a nap in the day.
If you are someone who keeps going relentlessly through the day only to settle down in front on the
tv with a glass of wine and then nod off on the sofa, but then when you go to bed feel frustratingly
wideawake and unable to fall asleep, having a nap earlier in the day is the answer. Not only will you
be more focussed at work and concentrate better in the afternoon, but you will be in a better mood
and have energy left for your family at the end of the day, you won’t have to rewind the tv show you
missed, and you will sleep better at night.
Good leaders lead themselves, and lead by example. They consciously manage their energy
throughout the day.
Having a short power nap in the day is good for you and your team. If you are already a secret
napper, then talk openly about it. And if you have yet to try having a nap, then do. You have nothing
Top tips for a good nap:
- Nap for 20 minutes, even ten is enough to make a noticeable difference
- Nap between 1-3pm
- Nap somewhere comfy and cosy – an armchair with a blanket
Cara Moore is a Leadership and Life Coach and CEO of ProNappers. To help individuals and
companies embrace napping for wellbeing and productivity, we have produced Nap School, three
short e-learning modules to be part of a company’s resilience resources. For more information email