Looking ahead, napping might become a sought-after employee benefit, supplanting the once-mocked Mediterranean Siesta.
The modern way of life exacerbates sleep deprivation, as the World Health Organization labels it an epidemic, alongside 2 additional invisible epidemics – burnout and the specter of COVID-19. Overbearing work hours, late nights, and endless commitments leave little room for proper rest.
In Japan, known for grueling work schedules, the term “karoshi,” or death from overwork, has gained notoriety. The case of Miwa Sado, who logged 159 overtime hours in one month before succumbing to heart failure in 2013, serves as a grim example. The Japanese Sleep Research Association reports that 71% of men sleep fewer than seven hours a night, often relying on alcohol to fall asleep. Japan has initiated efforts to encourage adequate sleep and rest during the day, with some companies incentivizing a good night’s sleep, even siestas, to boost productivity, often through sleep-monitoring apps. Some offices are adapting to accommodate power naps during lunch breaks, as a viral meme on Twitter, amassing 348k likes and 57.5k retweets, attests.
In this evolving landscape, the power of napping is emerging as a potent remedy for the afflictions of our time, promising a more balanced and productive future.