Why You Need to Take a Nap at Work

ByABC News via GMA logo
January 29, 2007, 8:19 AM

Jan. 29, 2007 — -- Could napping at work actually increase productivity?

According to a new book by Dr. Sara C. Mednick called "Take a Nap! Change Your Life," the answer is yes.

A NASA study backs up the claim. The study shows that a nap of just 26 minutes can boost performance by as much as 34 percent.

The average American gets 6.7 hours sleep a night; the recommended amount is eight hours a night.

Mednick said she grew interested in researching the benefits of napping because as a student, she took a lot of naps.

"I found it helps with memory processing, alertness, and learning new skills," she said. "We live with less than our recommended eight hours, and that means so many things -- decreased sex drive, decreased productivity, and fatigue-related accidents. Napping helps with all of these things."

Some companies are starting to respond to sleep-deprived workers by providing the time and space to nap during work hours. Studies show tired workers cost business about $150 billion a year in lost productivity.

"I think it's just like working from home," Mednick said. "Years ago your boss would have thought you were crazy if you asked to work from home, but now that companies see the results and increase in productivity, it's become more and more common. I think once companies start to see an increase in production and fewer sick days from napping, it will become more and more common as well."

Here are some of Mednick's tips and tidbits on making the most of your nap times: