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French workers 'should get right to post-lunch nap'

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French workers 'should get right to post-lunch nap'
Photo: Jason Ernst/Flickr
10:30 CEST+02:00
A French think tank says workers should be encouraged to take a 15-minute post lunch nap. One in five workers takes one anyway, apparently.

With their three-course meals and a glass (or two, or three) of wine enjoyed at lunch, is it really any surprise that French workers tend to nod off in the afternoon?

OK it's a bit of a cliché that's no longer quite accurate, well in Paris anyway, but the French still do value a big lunch and it seems to be affecting their productivity in the afternoon.

A study released on Monday by left-wing French think tank Terra Nova reveals that 20 percent of French workers doze off in front of their computer, usually after the midday meal. 

Normally, nodding off at your desk is an act you'd try to cover up, but this study says that taking a short afternoon nap should actually be encouraged in the workplace.

Napping benefits everyone

According to these sleep specialists, napping is a physiological need that should be recognized by businesses. 

Furthermore, the study says that letting workers nap is in the company's best interest, as lack of sleep is tied to lower productivity and higher rates of truancy at work. 

“In many countries or big cities, the cost associated with sleep troubles can be counted in the billions of euros,” the study says, noting that problems of vigilance and wakefulness can be tied to workplace or road accidents, accumulation of social inequalities, and sanitary risks. 

(Photo: Michael Coghlan/Flickr)

A micro-nap is all it takes

Dr. Giordanella, the co-author of the Terra Nova report, told Europe1 that bosses need to have designated napping rooms in their offices. 

“All that's needed is a calm room where you can turn off the strip lighting and come out refreshed,” she said. “We realized that this simple practice improves work efficiency and reduces absenteeism.” 

And there's no need for an extended Spanish-style siesta; a micro-nap of 15 minutes will do just fine.

According to the report, these good sleeping habits should be instilled at a young age. Just as elementary school age children take regular naps, this practice should be extended to older students and adults. 

 

 

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