Napping at work, a solution to stress?

Still not very developed and not enjoying a very positive connotation in Belgium, napping is nevertheless a fairly widespread practice abroad. In most Asian countries, especially in Japan, it has even become a cultural practice called "inemuri" (taking a nap in Japan means that one struggles so hard at work that one can no longer stand upright). Elsewhere, as in China, napping is a right. It is thus regulated and enshrined in the constitution.

Although the context in which it takes place is quite different from ours (we do not advocate the exploitation of employees to the point of extreme fatigue), the desired effects are similar, i.e. a boost in productivity, a boost in energy or a reduction in stress.

But back to our sheep, or rather, to our pillows. Why do we advocate napping in our Western societies?

Several reasons explain our desire to democratize this practice in the professional environment.

First of all, we started from an alarming observation: Belgians are stressed at work. Indeed, according to a study by Omnivit (2018), 3 Belgians out of 5 are stressed at work, and more than one Belgian out of 4 is stressed every day. 

This stress is generally itself caused by another disorder, lack of sleep, which affects 96% of Belgians, either frequently or occasionally. This lack of sleep will, in turn, cause increasing stress. It would therefore be easy to fall into an infernal spiral. Not only does stress cause a lot of inconvenience for the people who suffer from it, from simple discomfort to burnout and the total cessation of all activity, but it also prevents them from doing their work properly.

Stressed man overwhelmed by the amount of work

In addition to the obvious health problems caused by stress and sleep disorders, these also represent an important economic issue for companies.  

In 2018 alone, sleep deprivation cost the U.S. economy as much as $400 billion. In Belgium, the cost of stress-related incapacity to work amounted to more than 7 billion euros in 2017 according to Inami! Impressive figures that are likely to increase further in the future if nothing is done.

It is therefore important to remedy this problem since, in addition to the well-being and productivity of workers, it is the profitability of companies that is at stake.

Finally, it has been scientifically proven that a short nap of 10 to 30 minutes would be beneficial for the body and mind. It would restore the levels of hormones and proteins that combat stress, restore the proper functioning of the immune system, lower sensitivity to pain, and boost alertness and reactivity. In short, there are many good reasons to practice it!

At WeNap, we believe that it is possible to combine high performance and well-being at work without compromising one's health. This association seems to be indispensable not only for the development of the workers but also for the sustainability of the staff and therefore of the company.

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