Business Brains

OK staff, it's naptime

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I've been a little sleep deprived for the past couple of days catching up from vacation and keeping up with my husband's social schedule. Heck, I just...

I've been a little sleep deprived for the past couple of days catching up from vacation and keeping up with my husband's social schedule. Heck, I just got up at 6 a.m. so that I could sneak upstairs and write this blog after six hours of sleep.

So I found a new-ish survey about adult napping from Pew Research Center intriguing not just from a personal standpoint but from a social standpoint. Here's the finding that blew my mind: On any given day a third of adults in the United States takes a nap. OK, that's only one-third. But wait, a third of adults take a nap? I feel like I'm missing out!

More men (38 percent) than women (31 percent) were likely to have snoozed off in the past 24 hours, but that was just among people above the age of 50. Below that age, things level off.

What's more, there were racial patterns. Half of African-American adults reported napping.

Here's a bit more data, plus some charts showing the tendency to nap among different age groups as well as among different income levels. It probably won't surprise you to hear that napping increases among those making less than $30,000 and more than $100,000.

You do the math, if 33 percent or so of all adults are napping every day, then there HAVE to be some people on your team who fall into this group.

All this makes me wonder: WHEN during the day are people sneaking off to catch some ZZZZZs? I routinely napped before dinner when I was in college, but that was so I could go out a 11 p.m. and stay out until 2 a.m. I have never really been a night-owl.

Are people dozing on the job?

I also have never officially napped at work, even after taking red-eyes in after long business trips. I am also guessing that many of the people reading this blog often skip lunch, which means they, like me, are often glued to their computer screens for at least 8 or 9 straight hours every weekday. I definitely have a creativity and energy lag most days between 3:30 and 4:30, though, which makes me sort of wonder whether it wouldn't be smart to encourage your team to recharge in some way for 15 minutes to a half-hour sometime in the middle of the afternoon. Not only might you kickstart some creativity, your staff might process information or tasks just a teeny bit more productivity during those last couple hours of the day. Maybe those people in Spain are on to something after all.

Hmmm, may be time for a little first-person research.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure