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In Hillerød they sleep at work

| Text: Anders Jakobsen

Employees work better after an afternoon nap, which is a good thing both for them and for their employer.

Local government employees in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen, sleep at work, and are even encouraged to do so by the mayor. In fact, the mayor himself takes a ‘power nap’ when the opportunity arises.

Power napping’ was the subject of a six-week scientific experiment last spring involving 20 participants. Dorte Jensen, who is director of a skills development project in the municipality, told the Nordic Labour Journal that power napping seems to be here to stay, since the participants say they are very satisfied with the experience, and the two forthcoming reports on the sleep project are also expected to confirm this impression:

- The participants welcome the opportunity to take a nap, although it is sometimes hard to take the time off from work, she says.

Søren Berg, a sleep researcher from the Scansleep clinic who was involved in the project, emphasizes three important points: you should only rest for a short while, say 20 minutes; you should not take a nap too late in the day; and a nap is not a substitute for proper night sleep.

The best time for a power nap is, immediately after lunch. The main advantage of resting is that it improves your concentration and your performance. In other words you get much more done in the afternoon, which is a good thing from the point of view of employers and employees alike. This is confirmed by people with many years’ experience of taking an afternoon nap.




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