In recent years, sleep and meditation pods have become an invaluable workplace addition. Being led primarily by Google, these futuristic-looking pods gave a new meaning to “sleeping on the job”. Sleeping in the form of naps has become an increasingly popular practice in modern workplaces in order to increase productivity and heighten wellbeing. As a result, sleep and meditation pods have seen an increase in interest.
The most common sleeping schedule in the UK and US alike is monophasic sleep: the pattern of one single 8 hours sleep each day. This is, of course, not usually a conscious decision since this pattern is what we grow up with and it’s what the working world revolves around. Unfortunately, most people don’t meet the requirements for this sleep pattern despite often trying to, with the average British individual sleeping for only 6 hours and 19 minutes per night (The Independent, 2018). This is normalised with the work-life balance becoming blurred and phrases such as “time is money”, but this culture of sleep deprivation has cost businesses hundreds of billions of pounds each year due to sleep-related fatigue, high stress and reduced productivity (The National Commission on Sleep Disorders, 1993). While this sleep pattern is convenient due to force of habit, one bad night sleep can mean we’re tired and less productive the whole day. We need to change the way we sleep.
It’s a well-known piece of trivia that Spanish culture utilises siestas: short midday naps, usually around 2 pm, before returning to work in the afternoon. British people tend to love the idea of this, but it’s not normally easily implemented into a workday with the current structure of business, even more so in London. However, a siesta is not a long sleep after lunch, but often a break accompanied by a short nap, with the nap being crucial. Research into siestas suggests that 20-minute naps are great for happiness and productivity, but any longer are bad and cause grogginess and reduce productivity (Sargent, 2017). These 20 minutes naps are much easier to implement into a working day.
Napping is beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing. Awol Pods says “Whether it’s a power nap or just resting the mind, having regular moments of mental downtime is essential for our overall wellbeing” (Cult Beauty, 2019). Pods such as those made by Awol Pods are excellent for giving yourself some needed “me” time in the middle of a working day. They come with guided relaxation audio and “stress SOS” sessions which can really take the edge off of a busy day. They are comfy enough to nap in or just to take the rest you need. Other brands, such as Podtime, are specifically catered for napping with noise-reducing visors that also block out light and help you to get some recharging sleep without being seen.
photo credit: Awol Pods
At their core, these sleep pods are ergonomic and comfy chairs with visors that blocks out light and sound distractions and often include music or audio composed to induce sleep and relaxation. Their presence in the workplace encourages a culture of resting, napping, and replenishment yourself, so you can be your best self.
By changing the way in which sleep and work relate to each other, work could become much more efficient and productive, pods are one of the ways in which we can do this. You’ll see just how much more work we can produce when we don’t work for a bit.