Friday, 5 June 2009

Advice for Employers: Let Them Nap -- and Reap the Rewards!

New research advocates napping on the job. It argues, in so many words, that snatching a few zzzzs during the workday makes ergonomic sense as a means of boosting overall productivity and safety. And other recent research suggests napping is good for the heart.

Sara Mednick, Ph.D., a research psychologist at the Salk Institute at the University of California, and Mark Ehrman have written a book about the research into napping, and it devotes some sections to detailing how to do it to best advantage. Called, “Take a Nap! Change your Life,” it talks about studies that show sleepy workers have more accidents, are less productive and are more prone to health and morale problems. It follows that any healthy way to reduce drowsiness on the job will benefit an employer – and employee – on several fronts.

Sleep and fatigue are much studied human factors. Researchers at NASA report that a nap of 26 minutes can boost performance by as much as 34 percent. And a 2006 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that napping resulted in improved mood, increased alertness and reduced lapses in performance among doctors and nurses.

Describing the research on her website, Dr. Mednick said it is devoted to understanding how napping can improve human performance. Using new technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), she can pinpoint the areas of the brain that underlie these improvements.

In an interview with the Gannett News Service in an article about the book, Dr. Mednick said that not only do American workers need to take a nap, their companies should require it. She explained that employers who provide a place for a nap will reap the rewards many times over with more creative and efficient employees.

And other recent napping research is a ringing endorsement for its health benefits.

United States and Greek researchers reported in the February 12 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine that people who regularly took siestas – defined by the researchers as napping at least three times per week for an average of at least 30 minutes – had a 37-percent lower coronary mortality than those not taking siestas.

According to United Press International, which reported on the findings, lead author Androniki Naska of University of Athens Medical School and senior author Dimitrios Trichopoulos of the Harvard School of Public Health looked at 23,681 individuals living in Greece who, at the beginning of the study, had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer. They followed the study participants for an average of 6.3 years.

Siestas are common in the Mediterranean region and several Latin American countries, and those countries also tend to have low mortality rates of coronary heart disease. Attempts to link siestas and heart health scientifically, however, had produced conflicting results until the Naska-Trichopoulo study. The researchers say their is the first large prospective study of individuals who were healthy at enrollment and the first study to control for risk factors such as diet and physical activity. These research constraints helped eliminated inconsistencies.

It remains to be seen if the research can persuade employers that laziness and napping on the job are not the same.

Source: Dr. Sara Mednick web; Gannett News Service; United Press International

Lantas bagaimana Islam memandang hal ini? Ini dikupas dalam hadis :

Rasulullah saw. bersabda, “Tidur sianglah, karena setan tidak tidur siang.” (H.R. Thabrani). Menurut Al-Jauhari, tidur siang itu adalah tidur sebentar di tengah hari (menjelang shalat Zhuhur).
Selain itu, menurut Rasulullah saw. tidur siang juga bermanfaat agar dapat melakukan sholat Tahajud, berdzikir, atau untuk belajar di malam hari.

Al-Zamakhsyari mengomentari makna hadis ini dengan mengatakan,”Tidur siang adalah tidur sebelum waktu zhuhur.” Sebagian ulama mengatakan,”Dari segi medis, dianjurkan tidur setelah sarapan dan berjalan setelah makan malam meski Cuma seratus langkah.”

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