Could a Dinner Time Doze reduce stress at work?

With a total of 15.4 million workdays lost due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety, Sumo Sleep, a company that specialise in weighted blankets are encouraging businesses to allow their workforce to take a nap on their lunch break.

Work-related stress is defined as an adverse reaction that can occur due to certain pressures and demands placed on them at work. It can be brought on by high workloads, tight deadlines and even a lack of support. Employees can worry about job security and workplace changes.

When we are stressed it can affect the quality of work being produced, your productivity levels can take a significant dip and your organisational skills can suffer. Our immune system can also take a big hit, causing more time off work through illness. It’s this time off that can have a detrimental effect on the business you work for, making a colossal £5.2 billion dent in the bank balances of UK workforces each year.

Nap to success

As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure your staff feel well enough both mentally and physically so that they can do their job to the best of their ability. With more and more workplaces promoting workplace wellness, Sumo Sleep wants to spread awareness of how their products can ease stress and anxiety.

With major companies such as Google bringing in nap pods, Sumo Sleep wanted to explore the benefits of napping during the day and whether it can make a positive impact on the UK’s workforce. 

Naps can be very beneficial, allowing your whole body to take a rest from the stressful day you may be facing. After only 20 minutes you’ll wake feeling refreshed, more alert and energized to take on an afternoon of productive work.

Giles Watkins, author of Positive Sleep said,

“Naps are a powerful way to upgrade your night’s sleep and have proven benefits to your health and your thinking. Short naps have been shown to reduce your stress and enhance your immune system, as well as reducing both blood pressure and the incidence of heart attacks. Supporters of naps range from Winston Churchill to NASA! So, for a business that wants its employees to be more alert with improved focus on results, to be more accurate and solve problems better, I strongly recommend that naps can form part of the answer!”

Lisa Artis, head of The Sleep Council said:

“If you haven’t slept well, or are feeling fatigued, a short kip can give you as much energy as two cups of strong coffee, but the effects are longer lasting. A power nap of 20 to 30 minutes is sufficient to turn off the nervous system, recharging the whole body and improving alertness – any longer, though, is long enough to put you in a deep sleep and leave you feeling groggy when you wake.

However, people should also be aware that if you regularly experience insomnia or poor sleep quality at night, napping might make these problems worse. If you find yourself needing a nap most days, the chances are you aren’t sleeping very well so it’s important to look at your sleeping patterns and consider consulting a GP.” 

So, how does a weighted blanket fit in?

Using a weighted blanket for a quick nap, or even just while you take a well-deserved mindful retreat away from your computer can help you feel more at ease. A weighted blanket provides a form of deep pressure therapy and can be used for the management of anxiety, stress and sleep health. A Sumo Sleep blanket is filled with micro-glass beads that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. Wrap it around yourself and you’ll feel the warm embrace of a hug. The feeling of a hug can make your body release feel-good hormones that tell your body you’re OK, you’re safe and secure. It reduces the production of stress hormones and turns the fight or flight response off.

Abeer Iqbal, founder of Sumo Sleep said, 

“For businesses to support employee’s health and wellbeing, one of the biggest attributes is sleep health. Sleep plays a big part in allowing us to recover from the stresses and strains of the day. A weighted blanket stills the body and racing minds. It supports the body’s natural sleep processes, promoting stillness and relaxation, allowing waves of deep, refreshing sleep wash over us. Bliss!”

Gareth Allen, managing director of META said, 

I was keen to gift all my employees a weighted blanket as I’ve seen the benefits first-hand. I’ve owned a weighted blanket for just over a year now and one night after a busy day in the office it sprung to mind just how these weighted blankets could be used in our office. My colleague Chloe often uses a fleece blanket in the breakout room, and I wanted everyone to feel the comfort of a weighted version. It’s safe to say it’s gone down very well in the office!”

Sleep is important for our bodies and minds to repair, and even more so for people who suffer from stress and anxiety. 

Do you think your business would benefit from short naps?