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A Siesta Revolution: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Ah, the siesta, that famous afternoon nap. It started in Spain and dates back to the Spanish Civil War and came about as a result of many impoverished people working multiple jobs and late hours, which caused fatigue during the middle part of the day. Siestas became part of Spanish culture and in many areas still exist today.

Outside of daycare and retirement, why isn’t naptime bigger in America?

If you consider an article from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sleep-fatigued employees cost employers $136.4 billion each year in health-related lost productivity time. If this is true, why aren’t more employers ENCOURAGING a little power nap around 2 p.m.? Some actually are. According to an employee benefits survey of 600 American companies conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 6% of workplaces had nap rooms in 2011. In a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, it found that 34% of its 1,508 adult respondents said their employers allow them to nap and 16% actually have a designated nap area.

Here is where the rubber meets the road. I have been in this industry all of my life and have not been in one single manufacturing plant or corporate office and seen a nap room, much less heard of anyone being encouraged to sleep during the work day. We are in the mattress industry, so shouldn’t we be the ones promoting this idea and leading the charge? I don’t get it. And as I sit here typing this blog drinking my caffeine after a heavy lunch, I am reminded how stupid this is. Wouldn’t a 20-minute snooze do me some good and make me actually more productive for the second half of the day?

I say today we start a movement in this industry to get our senior managers to practice what we preach and show the other consumer products businesses out there that we are serious about sleep! It’s time for a siesta revolution. In theory this should be an easy sell, right? Either we believe the research that says you can be more productive, and our own BS that says sleep is essential to a productive high quality of life, OR WE DON’T.

I have to go so I can set up a meeting with my management team to discuss this very thing. Give it a shot yourself and let’s meet back here to see what happens. Do you have a nap room? If not, WHY NOT? Leave a comment and tell me how your company approaches napping in the workplace.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.

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