If you’ve ever wondered how or why you’re constantly feeling exhausted at the office, well…you’re certainly not alone. According to the CDC, approximately 40.6 million American workers – or 30% of the civilian workforce – do not get enough sleep each night, and it is wreaking havoc on our health. The short-term effects of this include irritability, memory lapses, an impaired immune system and decreased cognitive ability, and the long-term effects are just downright scary: Increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression and ultimately, a shorter lifespan. On the business end of it all, tired and unproductive employees are certainly not doing their best work, and the research backs this up. A recent 2016 study from RAND Europe estimates that sleep deprivation costs U.S. companies $411 BILLION in lost productivity per year – both from operating at subpar levels and the sick days that are triggered by it. That’s a lot of lost ZzZzs and a heck of a lot of coin.
When we have a bad night of sleep for whatever of 1,000 possible reasons (e.g. stress, physical ailment, too much work, etc.) many of us are immediately drawn to caffeine as our heralded savior to get us through to 5pm Margaritaville, and why not? It certainly packs a punch and makes us as productive as possible in the short-term as we churn away to make our bosses happy. Many companies have these items readily stocked in their kitchens and encourage the practice because it is a relatively cheap and easy way to keep employees awake and working longer hours. While this may seem like a good idea, caffeine can never replace lost sleep, and on top of that, too many days of an impaired immune system (an unfortunate side effect of not sleeping enough) can easily lead to a sick employee and no productivity whatsoever. Pretty crummy right? This is how a little ripple effect can lay the foundation for a number like $411 billion.
My goal is to help fix this trend, and I plan on doing it with an app called Nappr.
As a not-so-great snoozer myself – having suffered from several bouts of insomnia and (thankfully now-corrected) sleep apnea – I too fell into this caffeine trap of Red Bulls and 5-Hour Energies once upon a time. The immediate effects from the jolts were nice, but was I ever feeling great at the end of the day? Not often. Was I feeling productive at my job? Sometimes. After a while I started wondering why those two answers weren’t a resounding “YES!”, and then I slowly realized that the caffeine was just a bandaid on top of a large wound. What I really wanted was more sleep and less caffeine, and in essence, a midday nap. And this led me to my next question:
What if we were able take a refreshing nap whenever we wanted to, in a comfortable bed nearby, all via a few clicks from our phones or tablets?
Now, understandably, middle-of-the-workday naps aren’t exactly a touted thing here in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t be. In fact, the science behind a power nap is overwhelming. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has consistently found that naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents by a significant margin. One particular study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. This would not only benefit office workers, but obviously their corporations as well since they would be getting a more refreshed and productive employee. Long story short, these little siestas can save us a lot of time and money if we actually encourage the regimen.
There is definitely a growing trend of companies using this practice in their offices, including Google, Huffington Post, Uber and Zappos, but this is still fairly uncommon and many people are reluctant to sleep in the vicinity of their peers. That’s where Nappr comes in. With Nappr, you can open up your phone and harness the power of the sharing economy by finding quality beds nearby for a snooze whenever you need it, whether that’s during a lunch hour or possibly some other part of the day. Since beds can be hosted in private apartments, homes or businesses, you will have an expansive network of options to choose from at a variety of price points. And if you’re a picky sleeper like I am, you’ll be glad to know that hosts are required to put in bed size, type, model and any other applicable information that could apply to ensure you get the quality rest you’re looking for.
What’s in it for the hosts? As with other sharing economy apps they’ll have the opportunity to earn some extra income, and they’ll also get to help provide people with the ZzZzs they need! (Woohoo!). You can list a space for as little as 30 minutes (short cat nap) and multiple days at a time if that’s convenient for your schedule. As long as you have a bed to spare and are willing to provide quality accommodations, you’re eligible to be on the platform.
So give us a shot, take a convenient snooze and be the best healthy you!
You deserve it.