● Overall, respondents believed that the ideal nap lasts 51 minutes.
● 53% of nappers had received a promotion in the past year, compared to 35% of non-nappers.
● 68% of respondents admitted to having napped at work before.
● 30% of respondents believed employers should offer paid nap breaks.
At some point, we all need a break from the hustle and bustle of our daily life. For many, the best way to achieve this is with some much needed shut-eye. In this study, we surveyed 1,000 Americans to learn more about their personal napping habits.
What time of day are people most likely to take a nap? Where have people caught a few z’s other than in the comfort of their own bed? How does the health and happiness of nappers compare with that of non-nappers? Why are some people against napping? These questions and more will be addressed shortly. Keep reading to find out!
Does the Perfect Nap Exist?
To find out more about napping habits, we took a closer look at who naps and what makes a perfect nap.
On average, respondents got some extra shut-eye twice a week. However, 13% didn’t take any naps at all. The average naptime was 44 minutes, although respondents believed that the ideal length was a little longer at 51 minutes. However, perhaps to the chagrin of some people reading this, the ideal naptime for the average adult has been determined by researchers to be just 10 to 20 minutes – sorry to break it to you. Gen Zers took the quickest naps, which were still over the recommended amount at 34 minutes, whereas Gen Xers may be hitting their snooze buttons once or twice before eventually getting up after 51 minutes.
By far, respondents preferred to nap in the early morning. This was especially common among remote workers; conversely, hybrid workers were more likely to rest in the mid-to-late afternoon. People rarely took naps in the evening or late at night, probably because this is the time when most are enjoying their main sleep. Perhaps those that nap at this time are those working night shifts or who have another reason to be otherwise awake at night.
Dozing Off Here, There, Everywhere
When you gotta nap, you gotta nap.
Just under 40% of respondents admitted to having taken a snooze on public transportation or at the beach. The latter is especially unsurprising, considering the kind of environment a beach vacation creates. Around a third also said they’ve crashed at the airport, at a highway rest area, in a taxi or ride-share, or at a public park. Only 10% of people said they’ve never taken a quick nap at any of these locations.
Can Napping Improve Your Health?
Next, we took a closer look at how napping could benefit people in their everyday lives, as well as how it impacts their work performance.
For increasing productivity at work, people figured the ideal naptime was 20 to 30 minutes. To feel more creative, respondents felt that 10 to 20 was plenty. When comparing the current physical health and happiness of nappers versus non-nappers, there wasn’t much of a difference. Although, nappers were slightly more likely to feel excellent, and non-nappers felt marginally poorer in several categories. This could be explained by the fact that napping has been proven to strengthen memory, improve mood, and decrease stress, among other benefits.
However, while nappers were more likely to label themselves as highly creative in the workplace, it was their non-napping counterparts that felt higher levels of productivity and a better work-life balance. Perhaps an afternoon snooze isn’t the answer to all of our problems after all.
The Benefits of Napping
We just mentioned some of the benefits of napping, and respondents have outlined additional ones that explain why they take them in the first place.
More than half of our respondents loved the refreshing feeling of waking up after a quick nap, and over a third felt more productive and alert too. Around 30% said that it makes up for a bad nighttime sleep and helps ensure they get a better one next time.
Not everyone is a nap convert, however. Forty-five percent of anti-nappers said they are simply too busy working to take one, while over a third attributed their choice to the fact that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to pencil one in. Others didn’t like how naps made them feel – difficulty sleeping after a nap, grogginess, and post-nap tiredness were common complaints. This is especially true for people who already suffer from insomnia or tend to sleep poorly at night.
The Snooze Effect
Furthermore, we also asked our respondents to share their income and recent promotions to assess whether napping may have had any impact on their careers.
Nappers were both more likely to be in a managerial role and to have received a promotion in the last year than non-nappers. That being said, people who didn’t hit the hay during the day were twice as likely to find themselves making $100,000 or more on an annual basis. You know what they say, time (spent awake) is money.
Regarding snoozing alarms, it was fairly common for respondents to do so at least once before crawling out of bed on a typical morning. Nearly 20% of those making $100,000 plus snoozed their alarm once – the extra few minutes of sleep clearly doesn’t make or break people’s livelihoods. In fact, letting yourself wake up slowly instead of jumping out of bed right away could start your day off on a more relaxed foot.
Sleeping on the Job
The 9-to-5 grind isn’t easy, and seeing as over 70% of Americans say they’re sleep deprived on a regular basis, many bank on an afternoon nap to get through the day.
This might explain why over two-thirds of respondents admitted to having dozed off at work, whether they had remote, hybrid, or on-site jobs. Looking at the different generations, 80% of Gen Zers admitted to having napped at work, compared to 70% of millennials, 60% of Gen Xers, and 71% of baby boomers.
Since napping likely isn’t encouraged on the job, there could be repercussions if you’re caught in the act. For example, nappers were often sent home, teased, or reprimanded. Around half of respondents must either be sneaky with their at-work resting or have easygoing bosses, as they had never received consequences for napping.
Rather than being scolded, many respondents think that napping should be integrated into the workplace. Some suggested the introduction of a napping room, nap pods, a stipend for sleep aids, and even paid nap breaks. Others would simply appreciate if naps were encouraged or even just allowed when they’re on the clock.
No Need to Count Sheep
Generally, people kept their napping time modest, averaging about two per week, many of which were taken in the early morning. Our lives are busy, making it sometimes difficult to sleep at home, meaning that people admitted to napping just about anywhere – from the bus to the beach.
Also, nappers exhibited slightly higher levels of physical health, happiness, and workplace creativity, but non-nappers were more productive at work and managed to strike a better work-life balance. Interestingly, non-nappers were also more likely to make a pretty penny than their sleepy counterparts. Either way, most people admitted to having napped at work before, but there were consequences of getting caught.
Respondents would like napping to be accepted and encouraged at work, but that might be a tough ask. That’s why PlushBeds' products, made from certified organic and natural materials, are dedicated to helping you get the most out of the sleep time you are allowed. For the most effortless and comfortable night’s sleep imaginable, head over now.
Methodology and Limitations
This study uses data from a survey of 1,000 Americans located in the U.S. Survey respondents were gathered through the Amazon Mechanical Turk survey platform where they were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions.
58.1% of respondents identified as men, while 41.9% identified as women. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 70 with an average age of 34. 22.9% of respondents were Gen Zers, 50% were millennials, 13.6% were Gen Xers, and 13.5% were baby boomers. Participants who incorrectly answered an attention-check question had their answers disqualified. This study has a 3% margin of error on a 95% confidence interval.
Please note that survey responses are self-reported and are subject to issues such as exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping.
Fair Use Statement
Napping isn’t for everyone, but it can work wonders for the people that need them. Feel free to pass this article on to friends or family that might be interested in reading what we have to say about sporadic snoozing. We just ask that you do so for noncommercial use only and to provide a link back to the original page so contributors can earn credit for their work.
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