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Nap desks cash in on sleep deprivation epidemic by letting workers sleep at the office

Nap desk

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(NaturalNews) A 15-minute power nap can really make all the difference in clearing the mind and resetting the nervous system in the middle of the day. Studies show that taking time out for a power nap can help employees make better decisions by boosting memory and alertness, thus preventing costly mistakes on the job. Based on this, Greek design company Studio NL introduced a new concept that could potentially help both employers and employees increase productivity — a sleeping pod built into the bottom of the desk.

While taking a nap on the job mostly has a negative ring to it, the fact remains that a majority of adults aren't getting an adequate amount of sleep to sustain their attentiveness throughout the day. Power naps can come in handy for almost anyone, especially for employees whose jam-packed schedules only allow for a few hours of rest every night.

The National Institutes of Health suggests that school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep per day, while adults need at least seven to eight hours. However, a 2005-2007 National Health Interview Survey found that 30 percent of adults aren't even getting close to 6 hours of rest every day. The health consequences of a sleep deprived schedule are dire and include a greater risk for depression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

Nap desk creates a convenient spot under the desk for a power nap


A new creation by Studio NL called the "11.6 S.M. of Life" gives tired office workers what they've been looking for — a desk that also functions as a bed. Office workers lucky enough to have a boss who allows power naps at work can now crawl under their desk to take their much-needed mid-day rest. The built-in sleep pod, concealed by two removable side panels, makes sleep readily accessible to anyone wanting to get a quick shut-eye to get through the rest of the day.

The designer of the desk, Athanasia Leivaditou, speaking about his invention with A'Design Award and Competition, said: "The main concept was to comment [on] the fact that our lives are shrinking in order to fit into the confined space of our office. Eventually I realised that each civilisation may have a very different perception of things depending on its social context. For example this desk could be used for a siesta or for a few hours of sleeping at night between deadlines."

Small changes, big difference

Although having a nap desk at work would surely come in handy during exceptionally tiring days, there are also a couple of small lifestyle changes and adjustments one could make to better have a restful sleep.

Being consumed by lights, noises, phones and screens right before bedtime can disturb the body's circadian rhythm and ability to naturally produce the hormone melatonin. People who barely exhaust their minds and bodies throughout the day also have a much harder time falling and staying asleep. Deep breathing techniques and mindfulness-based muscle relaxation techniques can further help one de-stress before bedtime. For those whose brains remain overly active at night, writing out ideas on paper is a great way to get rid of all the mind clutter. Sometimes, sleeping at just the right temperature can make all the difference as well. It helps to have a sleep schedule to adhere to, but remember not to become too anxious while doing so.

Aside from the tips earlier mentioned, there also are a variety of plants one can use to induce a deeper sleep, naturally. Chamomile, passionflower tea, valerian root, white willow bark extract and lavender essential oils are popular for relaxation. While pharmaceutical sleeping pills are widely accessible over the counter, these should be avoided at all costs due to potential side effects. Likewise, using alcohol as a sleep aid, though quite common for some, can easily lead to alcohol dependency.

There are indeed several ways to help our brains relax better. Employees, in particular, are constantly subjected to pressure to meet certain job obligations. With creative concepts such as the nap desk, mid-day work exhaustion might soon turn out to be a thing of the past.

(Photo credit: Studio NL)

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