National Workplace Napping Day
Also known as
National Nap Day
National Napping Day
National Workplace Napping Day was created by William Anthony, a former professor of rehabilitation counseling at the Sargent College of Boston University—and current (as of 2018) professor emeritus, and his wife Camille Anthony. Anthony called for the day in an April 1999 Boston University press release, and it was first celebrated on April 4, 1999. Originally celebrated on the first Sunday of daylight savings time, it was known as National Nap Day. Within a handful of years it shifted from being celebrated on the Sunday of daylight savings time to the Monday after it, being celebrated with mid-workday naps by organizations and individuals. With this shift it also began taking on the name of National Workplace Napping Day. When explaining why the day should be held after daylight savings time, Anthony said, "We figured this would be a good day to celebrate the importance of napping because everyone is one hour more sleep-deprived than usual." He went on to say that most Americans are sleep deprived even before daylight savings time is factored in.
The day was created to raise awareness about the benefits of naps, and to reduce cultural prejudice against napping, in part by trying to get rid of the stigma that those who take naps are lazy. National Workplace Napping Day is not about sleeping during times that are designated for work, but about the need for breaks during the workday that allow time for napping to take place. The goal of the day is to make workplace naps as acceptable as lunch breaks, walk breaks, and time standing around the water cooler or coffee pot.
The Anthony's have promoted the day in various ways over the years. They have spoken about the day on national television and radio broadcasts. They have cited famous nappers such as John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan, who give credence to the notion that those who nap can achieve great success. They formed The Napping Company, which hosts workshops on the benefits of napping, and sells napping T-shirts and other products. William Anthony has also written books related to napping, such as The Art of Napping and The Art of Napping at Work.
Napping can help increase productivity, performance, and mood. Getting more sleep can also improve overall health. A 2001 survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that 63 percent of Americans don't get enough sleep. One in five respondents said they felt sleepy during the week and that the sleepiness interfered with their activities. Other statistics have shown similar results, highlighting that at least 50 percent of Americans are sleep deprived. About 120 years ago, Americans got an hour and a half more sleep each night than they do now. Although naps don't completely make up for lost sleep, they do help. Just a 15-minute nap can help revitalize the body and mind.
How to Observe
The day can be celebrated by anyone by simply taking a nap. A designated time can be set aside to take a nap during the workday, whether at the office, another place of employment, or while working from home. If there are no designated times for napping at your place of employment, this is a good day to talk to your boss about the benefits of napping and the need for such a time. A nap can be taken if you aren't working today, or if you are staying home with children. Read some tips for napping to get more out of your nap. You could also spend the day reading William Anthony's books, The Art of Napping and The Art of Napping at Work.