Recent Poll: 34 Percent Of Companies Allow Workers To Sleep During Breaks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Unable to sleep at night, millions of Americans work each day in a state of exhaustion.

But as CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported Tuesday, some companies are now waking up to the problem, and offering employees a sleep solution.

For many of us, not getting a good night’s sleep means paying the price at work the next day.

“It’s hard to make a decision; you’re not clear,” one person said.

“You feel exhausted, like your body is down,” another said.

“I have to work, I have to be awake. I drink coffee,” added Maria Lopez of the South Bronx.

But what if you could sleep instead? What if you could grab a nap on the job and even learn at work how to sleep better at home?

At Nationwide Planning Associates in Paramus, N.J., a storage closet has been turned into a special nap room where employees are encouraged to take a snooze.

“It’s hard to relay how beneficial it really is unless you try it,” said napper James Colleary.

And the trend is growing. A recent poll found 34 percent of employers let their employees nap while on break, and 16 percent set aside a special nap room to do it.

Ted Olsen of Power Naps, a company that offers sleep solutions, said a short snooze has a big payoff.

“Just one 26-minute power nap can increase your cognitive skills by 40 percent,” Olsen said.

And according to a recent Harvard University study, a groggy workforce costs billions of dollars in lost productivity each year.

“We are a nation of walking zombies,” said sleep expert Jim Maas. “Seventy-one percent of us are not meeting the required seven and a half to eight hours per night.”

Some companies now hire sleep experts to coach employees.

“We talk about the serious consequences of sleep deprivation in terms of your health and your cognitive behavior; your productivity,” Maas said. “We talk about sleep strategies that can be used.”

Employees said the nap strategy not only lets them catch up on sleep, but recharges their work life.

“Having a moment to collect yourself makes going back to work that much more — your work is that much more bearable,” said Liz Stewart, a Ben & Jerry’s employee.

According to the Sleep Foundation, nearly half of all Americans report having occasional insomnia.

Do you like the idea of a nap at work? Please leave your comments below…