February 14, 2018 2:13 pm
Updated: February 14, 2018 3:01 pm

Should you nap at work? A sleep specialist says yes

WATCH ABOVE: How would you feel about taking a nap at work? Well, believe it or not, an Alberta company is actually encouraging employees to sleep on their shift. Su-Ling Goh explains why.

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When the CEO of CompuVision told his employees he ordered a nap pod for them, they figured he was joking.

“People thought it was a trick. They’d say, ‘Do I really wanna use this thing? Am I gonna get in trouble?'” Ryan Vestby laughed.

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The Edmonton IT company is among a growing number of businesses recognizing the value of well-rested workers. Google and Procter & Gamble also have nap pods (AKA energy pods): reclining chairs with a closable dome top that feature soothing music, lights, vibration and heat.

Vestby feels the $14,000 pod was a good investment. He’s read the research on napping at work.

“(Employees) are actually more alert, their productivity goes up and they actually sleep better at night,” Vestby said.

Sleep specialist Manisha Witmans agrees.

“Even short naps, as little as seven to 10 minutes, can be really helpful to be restorative,” Witmans said.

READ MORE: Canadians would give up free coffee and other work perks for naps

Witmans quotes studies in China (where napping is not taboo) that show people who nap regularly function better and are more alert. She said a short snooze can boost your energy and your problem-solving skills.

Witmans’ tips for napping at work:

  1. Find a quiet spot
  2. Aim for 20 minutes. (So you won’t interfere with your nighttime sleep
  3. The best time to sleep is after lunch, but not after 4 p.m. (Again – you don’t want to disrupt nighttime sleep)

Of course, the timing might be different for shift workers. And napping isn’t for everyone.

Don’t attempt daytime dozing if you’re the kind of person who feels worse after a nap, or if you already get seven to nine hours of shuteye at night.

But chances are you don’t sleep enough.

“Our entire society is sleep-deprived,” Witmans said. “If you compare the data from the last two decades, we’re all sleeping much less than we used to.”

CompuVision manager Joey Gierulski has used the nap pod three times in two weeks. The first time he tried it, he didn’t think he could fall asleep.

“Next thing you know, the music’s waking me up and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God… I’m energetic. I’m ready to do more.'”

An energy pod at CompuVision in Edmonton.

Su-Ling Goh

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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