U-M Report: Naps Boost Employee Productivity, Help Control Negative Emotions

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Taking a nap at work may be a good strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and boost tolerance for frustration, says a new University of Michigan study.

"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," says Jennifer Goldschmied, a doctoral student in the department of psychology at the University of Michigan and the lead author of the study.

The researchers examined how a brief nap can affect adults' emotional control. In the study, participants completed tasks on a computer and then were randomly assigned to either a nap period or a non-nap period where they watched a video for an hour. Afterward, the subjects answered questions and completed tasks. Those who napped reported feeling less impulsive.

Goldschmied says the findings indicate that staying awake for an extended period of time hinders people from controlling negative emotional responses. She says napping could be a cost-efficient strategy for businesses to increase employee productivity. She says employers could offer nap pods or extended breaks.

Goldschmied says the findings are compounded by the fact that it's becoming more common for adults to not sleep an entire night, which negatively impairs a person's attention and memory, and contributes to fatigue. On average, U.S. adults report sleeping 6 hours and 31 minutes on weekdays, says a poll by the National Sleep Foundation.

To view the full study, click here

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