Cultivating This One Simple Habit Will Make Us Happier Every Day, Says Science


by Anna Brech |

Happiness is the all-elusive ingredient of modern times. We all want it, but we can hardly order it on demand.

There are, however, little habits that can help boost our mood day by day.

And one of these has been revealed as (drum roll, please)... power naps.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire quizzed 1,000 people on how much they napped, and how happy they rated themselves.

They then arranged participants into three groups: non-nappers, short nappers (people who slept for 30 minutes or less during the day) and long nappers (people who slept for over half an hour during the day).

They found that 67% of short nappers felt happy, compared to 60% of non-nappers and 56% of long-nappers.

Professor Richard Wiseman, leading the study, said: “Previous research has shown naps of under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive and creative.

“These new findings suggest you can also become happier by just taking a short nap."

All hail the office nap ©Getty

And for those of you who scoff at the idea of napping in the office: think again.

Workplaces are becoming increasingly open-minded when it comes to the all-important quality of kip.

And we're not just talking about a sneaky snooze in the breakout area when you're too hungover to move.

Companies such as Google, Zappos, Cisco, and Procter & Gamble all recognise the importance of daytime naps in boosting productivity, in a marked culture shift towards nurturing the wellbeing of employees.

These companies and others have invested "EnergyPods" - or napping chairs - that come with privacy visors and in-built speaker systems, and are specifically designed for office use.

The US headquarters of ice-cream company Ben & Jerry's has had a nap room installed for the past 10 years.

“The room itself is really part of the larger corporate culture here and company’s belief that a happy employee is a productive employee,” said spokeswoman Liz Stewart.

"Most people are told that the harder you work, the longer you work, the better it is," says Stefan Camenzind, CEO of Evolution Design.

"That's not sustainable, and that's probably also not true. It's about smart working, and that means you need to recharge. In this context, nap rooms become more and more important."

The bottom line? Half-hour power naps make us healthier, happier and more productive.

So, do s'cuse us while we pop off for a quick lie-down...

READ MORE: 10 Brilliant Ways To Motivate Yourself

READ MORE: How Can I Get A Good Night's Sleep?

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