Having a midday snooze is better for your brain and your heart.

From about the age of 8 onwards, falling asleep at your desk has been largely frowned upon. In a move applauded by the US, the Spanish have banned the siesta  - that two hour nap taken in the middle of the day.

Sleep is for the night and those of a weak constitution.

Work is for the day and for the strong.

Except, guess what. That might not be the case. There is a shift happening in our thinking. So for those who fee a little tired in the afternoon, here is some useful data:


  • As far back as 1994, NASA identified a 34% increase in reaction times and a two-fold increase in alertness for pilots that took a 40 minute nap during the day. 
  • In 2014, the University of California-Berkley clearly demonstrated an afternoon nap increased the brains capacity to learn. People who took a nap easily outperformed those that did not.
  • And if that was not enough: a study in Greece connected an afternoon nap with a 37% reduction in the risk of heart disease and an increased strengthening of our immune system.

The world of work is changing. But for a minority; the archaic 9-5 workplace is changing - and changing for good. We are on the cusp of the greatest transformation in the workplace since the invention of the mobile phone.

The ability to take an afternoon nap in the office, as the likes of Uber and Nike have initiated, is one such revolution.

If you feel tired in the afternoon - sleep but there are some conditions. Your nap should last no more than 40 minutes and its worth having a coffee first. The caffeine takes about 25minutes to kick-in so you’ll awake feeling doubly chipper.


The above is based on the research and book, When, by Danial H. Pink. 





Photo by Jackman Chiu on Unsplash