NEW YORK — If you’re looking for a way to improve your day-to-day productivity, finding some time to take a nap could be the answer, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans.
Researchers examined the napping habits and personality traits most associated with nappers and non-nappers to see if getting some midday shut-eye proved helpful. They found that self-identified nappers were more likely to think of themselves as productive people than those who don’t (93% to 85%).
Almost all comparisons between nappers and non-nappers in the study showed that those who nap seem better off. Nappers were more likely to identify as happy (90% to 79%) and confident (89% to 79%), according to the survey, which was commissioned by the mattress company Mattress Nerd.
But the biggest benefit of napping could be for one’s career. Three out four nappers said they consider themselves to be career-driven, compared to just 55% of non-nappers. Similarly, 83% of the napping segment think they have a healthy work-life balance, versus 60% of the awake-all-day segment.
For some, the ability to lay down and fall into a deep slumber is a daily must-do. In fact, 79% of nappers consider taking naps a “hobby” of sorts. Recharging their internal batteries seems to do them well: a third feel relaxed after taking a nap, while 19% are happier, and 17% said they feel more energized after their siestas.
Naps do come with a downside, however. About a quarter of nappers surveyed said they often wake up confused, sometimes not knowing where they are.
Meanwhile, when it comes to those who only sleep at bedtime, 38% say their main reason for not taking naps is that they can’t get comfortable. Another 30% admit they worry they won’t be able to sleep through the night should they log some daytime shuteye.
Of course, finding the time to take an afternoon snooze may be another major reason people don’t nap. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that half of all respondents said they would actually take a pay cut if they were allowed to take naps at work.
The ability to nap could be improved, however, by making a few tweaks to one’s routine. The survey showed that the prime time for a nap is about 1:30 pm, and the optimal napping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Napping is no longer a sign of laziness, but it’s another tool we can use to make us more productive in life,” said a spokesperson for Mattress Nerd in a statement. “While it’s really ideal to maintain a consistent schedule of seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, that’s not always the case. With emerging research on topics such as polyphasic sleep, we can all take a look at the science behind sleep and napping more closely to find habits that work for our lifestyles.”
The study was conducted by OnePoll.