It's National Workplace Napping Day

ByABC News
April 5, 2002, 3:41 PM

April 8 -- Close the office door. Hold your calls. Put your head on your keyboard. It's National Workplace Napping Day.

"It's time for workplace nappers to lie down and be counted," says William Anthony, repeating one of the slogans of his napping advocacy organization, the Napping Company.

Anthony, a Boston University professor, created today's unofficial holiday with his wife Camille, also an outspoken napping advocate.

"We're going to take it one nap at a time, but it is going forward," he insists.

Anthony admits Workplace Napping Day this is the third year the Anthonys have publicized the event sounds a little frivolous, but he insists there are countless good reasons to take his cause seriously.

"The science [supporting the value of napping] continues to grow," he says, citing several recent studies on sleep deprivation. "Napping improves your productivity and your mood."

Americans could certainly use the extra ZZZs.

A 2001 survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that 63 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep.

One in five respondents admitted being so sleepy during the day that it interfered with their activities at least a few days a week.

But the survey found that most people didn't plan on changing their lifestyles, even though they realized they were sleep-deprived.

"We are a chronically sleep deprived society," says Dr. James Wyatt, a sleep disorders specialist at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. "Compared to about 100 years ago, we're getting about one and a half hours less sleep [a night]."

Napping Can Help, But Stigma Persists

An afternoon nap doesn't make up for lack of sleep, but it can tremendously helpful, experts say.

"It's a good idea. Put a note on the door and nod out for 15 minutes," recommends Dr. Amanda Beck, the medical director of the Sleep Disorder Center of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Even a 15 minute snooze under less than ideal circumstances can rejuvenate an exhausted worker, she says.