Sleeping pods, mobilize! We here at Fast Company have long been proponents of napping at work to increase productivity. A new study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences lends further support to our theory that you would be better off sneaking some (guilt-free) shut-eye in the office.
Researchers at the University of Michigan recruited 40 participants–who ranged in age from 18 to 50–and asked them to perform various computer exercises, as well as answer questions about their mood and fatigue. Some of them were then allowed to indulge in an hour-long nap, while others watched a nature video instead. (The subjects had stuck to a consistent sleep schedule for three nights beforehand.) Following this, they repeated the computer-based tasks they had completed earlier.
The researchers found that the subjects who had taken a nap felt less impulsive, and weathered frustration more easily, than those who watched a nature video.
This study supports the findings of previous research on sleep deprivation, according to its lead author Jennifer Goldschmied, who noted that people find it harder to restrain negative emotions when they haven’t slept enough. “Our results suggest that napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who may be required to remain awake for long periods of time by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks,” she said in a statement.
The next time you take a break at work, you should resist browsing or gaming on your phone, and try closing your eyes instead.