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Businessman sleeping at his workplace

Productivity is a big buzzword in the world of business these days—and for good reason. Without a productive workforce, it’s impossible to achieve your business goals.

I talk quite a bit about productivity here and that’s because it’s useful to understand why certain elements in our day lead to better results. Now, as the holiday season approaches and Americans start to wind down for the season of gratitude and gift-giving, it’s important to look at this natural decline in productivity—or what is perceived as a natural decline. Specifically, sleep.

There’s a ton of science behind sleep and most of it signals that more sleep can mean more productivity and better overall health. Let’s dig in.

We’re designed for afternoon naps

Napping isn’t just something that sounds good to the overtired minds of millions of Americans. Scientists have proven that our bodies crave a mid-day rest.

In the morning, as body temperature starts to rise, your memory and concentration gradually improve, which is why you’re increasingly more productive during the early hours of the day. By noon, usually after a meal, that alertness starts to decrease. Sleepiness starts to creep back in, making 2 p.m. a good time to give your body a short rest, according to Martin Moore-Ede, chairman and chief executive of training and consulting firm Circadian.

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By design, our lungs, brain, and organs have their own natural rhythms. Your body’s clock wants you to close your eyes and lay your head down in the afternoon. Science proves it but does that mean you should give in to the drowsiness you experience every day? Probably.

Brain benefits of quick snooze

Power naps (no longer than 20 minutes) can do wonders for your overall brain power. With a refreshed mindset you’ll be more creative, improve your memory, and make you healthier overall.

Improved sleep has been proven to be beneficial for your heart, your hormonal maintenance, and your overall cell repair. When you don’t get enough sleep your body doesn’t have the opportunity to repair itself and absorb everything that happened throughout the day. Over time, this can lead to sleep deprivation, which can make it difficult for your brain to refocus. Being sleep deprived at work can drain your productivity and cost you valuable time and money.

Catch your needed Zzz’s

Are you sold on the importance of getting enough rest and taking a quick nap? Although closing your eyes every afternoon might sound ideal, it’s not always doable. That’s because people don’t prioritize sleep during the day over work—at least not in the United States.

In Spain, mid-day siestas are commonplace. In China, millions of workers take a nap at their desk after lunch. Still, few North American businesses find it culturally acceptable to decline a meeting or delay a project because you need to take a snooze.

Still, it’s important that you give your body the two sleeps per day it craves if you want to maintain your productivity and overall health. Should you incorporate nap time into your business? If you believe the science behind it, then yes. And it might not be as difficult as it sounds to let you and your team catch your much needed zzz’s.

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