Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Forty Winks to Prosperity

31 March 2016

Sleeping on the job is the new presenteeism.  Take a snooze to recharge the batteries for the rest of the day.  So if you want to get ahead, get your head down.  No, we didn’t believe that either.

Bless the Spanish, the superheroes of sleep.  Doing anything between 3pm in the afternoon and 7pm in the evening is the height of impoliteness.  So forget about scheduling a boardroom meeting after lunch, because the country is officially out for the count.

This popular stereotype, leaves Madrileños and Catalans alike counting sheep in the afternoon, ready for a resurgence late into the evening.  Most Spaniards are hitting the town just as we northern Europeans are hitting the hay. 

The question is, who has the more productive lifestyle, and are those post-lunch Latin shut-eye sessions better for you than slogging on through the day, risking nodding off at your desk in the middle of the afternoon?
Some sleep experts claim that short power naps in between the long working hours not only reboot your brain, but also boosts alertness. 

A report by India’s Zee News says that doctors recommend you to sit slightly upright during a power nap to avoid deep sleep. A snooze on the couch or a relaxing position on the chair are considered apt for a healthy nap.  In centuries gone by, those fortunate enough to have a bed actually tended to sleep sitting up.  It was considered less injurious to health than lying down.  That’s perhaps why all those historical aristocratic beds are so short!

Views on ideal nap durations vary.  Loughborough University found that a 15-minute nap immediately following the consumption of a caffeinated beverage improved the alertness of tired drivers better than just caffeine or just a nap on its own. Well worth considering before you pull out of the motorway service station.

Some results show thirty minutes sleeping is good for decision-making skills and also helps in memorising vocabulary or recalling directions.  So in future start that important board meeting with a half hour kip. 

Moving into siesta territory, a whole hour results in deepest sleep. improves memory performance and also helps in remembering names, faces and facts, while ninety minutes is a clinical sleep cycle, pretty much guaranteed to improve emotional and procedural memory and creativity, and avoid the side effect of sleep inertia - where you wake up more tired than when you put your head down.

None of us would avoid an extra minute or two of snoozing if we could manage it, but our work/life patterns seem to mitigate against it.  Which is a shame.  There seems plenty of evidence to support the fact that we’d all be more efficient and alert if we just got enough shut eye. 

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springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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