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Post-lunch nap as a worksite intervention to promote alertness on the job

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A worksite study was conducted to examine whether a 15-min nap during a post-lunch rest period would affect subsequent alertness, performance, and nocturnal sleep in eight factory workers under a 3-week protocol. Subjects were asked to take the nap at 12:30 h on a reclining chair during the nap week, and to remain awake during the no-nap week. The order of these 2 weeks was counterbalanced between the subjects. During the third, follow-up week, each subject determined whether or not she/he would nap. Alertness on the job and nocturnal sleep were assessed using a sleep diary. Wrist activity was also recorded during sleep at night. Choice reaction time task (RT) was performed at 10:00 and 15:00 h every day of the nap week and every other day of the no-nap and follow-up weeks. Perceived alertness was significantly higher in the afternoon after nap than after no nap at the end of the week. Similar effects were observed during the follow-up week where almost half of the subjects napped. No significant differences between the three weeks were found for RT performance or nocturnal sleep. Workers' attitudes toward the nap were favourable. Although further intervention research is required, our results suggest that post-lunch napping may have the potential to promote daytime alertness at work.
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Keywords: Alertness; Nap; Performance; Post-lunch rest; Work schedule

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Industrial Health 6-21-1, Nagao Tama-ku Kawasaki 214-8585 Japan 2: Japan Bioassay Research Center 2445, Hirasawa Hadano 257-0015 Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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