Sleep is very important. It rests your mind and body, allows you to recharge for the next day, affects your mood, and is even noted as being an important factor in losing weight. (Hmm, that probably explains the 10kg or so I lost while I lived at home and slept fifteen hours a day. Or maybe not.)
For yours truly, it’s even more important than it is for the average Joe, because if I don’t get enough sleep, I not only get grumpy, can’t focus and look like death, I also put myself at significantly higher risk of seizure. Which is BAD.
This week, I have been awful at getting the full 8 hours we apparently need. (I maintain that in my case, it’s more like 12 hours, but that’s just not practical, is it?) I’ve been going to gigs, seeing friends and just generally being a busy little bee, so getting the proper amount of slumber has kind of fallen by the wayside. I am definitely going to pay for it this weekend, and I’m paying for it now – I’ve literally just woken up from a 40 minute nap.
As I muddle my way through the world, I can’t help noticing that there are plenty of people who seem to not be getting enough sleep. I know plenty of folks who are insomniacs, have seen countless co-workers yawning at desks and have occasionally been on the receiving end of an outburst quickly retracted with the line, “Sorry, I’m just tired.”
According to America’s National Sleep Foundation, one of the biggest factors in our societal sleep debt is the fact that work is eating more and more of our time. But if tired workers = less productivity, why are we maintaining the status quo? Surely, it will only just continue to snowball out of control unless we work out how to get a little more snoozin’ in our lives.
So what are we doing to fix it? Sweet eff all, really.
Despite there being plenty of evidence to demonstrate that they’re a really awesome idea, and it being adopted by some of the biggest companies in the world, naps at work are still a taboo topic in Australia – I have a friend who maintains that even a lunchtime kip, in your car, out of sight of all your co-workers, is profoundly unprofessional.
On the other hand, at my last job I would occasionally sacrifice my lunch break for the chance to duck out of sight under my desk and grab a bit of shut eye. Why shouldn’t I? Nobody could see me, I worked better, it was my own time, and in return, I would often work back another hour or so because I had enough energy to power through that little bit longer. Not only that, but it meant that I was never hitting up the office coffee supply. (Also, because I don’t like coffee, but that’s irrelevant.) What’s so wrong with that?
Seriously, there are enough positive benefits that there is an Australian lobby group dedicated to bringing naps to the workplace.
Either way, the fact remains that it is really hard to get the required amount of sleep we need in our lives, especially in mine. That’s probably the reason why this blog is suddenly getting awfully rambly – it’s way past my bedtime.