The evidence is overwhelming: Napping on the job is great for you and great for your boss. A power nap of about 20 minutes has been proven to increase alertness and overall productivity in workers. Siestas also boost mood. "Remember when your mother told you to take a nap because you were cranky? She was right," says William Anthony, who co-authored The Art of Napping at Work with his wife Camille.
Anthony, who has a comfy couch with a homemade afghan blanket in his office at Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, says the post-nap energy spike can last for several hours. Though he's long touted napping's cognitive boon, he's currently excited by the cumulating evidence that nappers reap physical benefits, as well: A large, six-year study of Greek adults found that men who took a siesta at least three times per week had a 37 percent lower risk of heart-related death.
Yet most bosses still grimace at the thought of a company-wide naptime. "People think nappers are slothful or lazy," Anthony says. "Look at the words surrounding napping: stealing a nap or getting caught napping—they're all pejorative." Employers often remark to Anthony that they aren't paying people to sleep. But maybe they don't know that the return on an investment in an employee nap is much greater than that of the already given lunch, coffee, and cigarette breaks.