Attention Bosses: Here’s Why You Should Let Women Nap at Work

The New York Times is out with a revelation that may be startling to exactly zero of the exhausted women out there: take a quick nap at work, and you may wake up revitalized, refreshed, productive, and even happier.

 For all the women who read this at their computer or smartphone, bleary-eyed from their umpteenth cup of caffeine, see if you can contain your shock. We’re tired because we’re not sleeping enough. And we’re not sleeping enough because we’re women. Here’s why: Female brains are wired to need more sleep than men. Maybe just 20 minutes more, but maybe quite a bit more.

 Sociologist Suzanne Bianchi analyzed data and found that women, working mothers in particular, give up both sleep and leisure time. We may be running on fumes, but we’re still showing up to work on time, hoping for that 20-minute nap break later in the day to get even more done in the afternoon. Brigid Schulte, who analyzed the chaotic lives of Americans in her book, “Overworked: Work, Love and Play when No One Has the Time,” says one reason women are so exhausted is the “mental labor” that women are still expected to do, which means women are typically the ones in charge of keeping the social calendars, remembering birthdays, packing lunches, and scheduling dentist appointments.

 Not getting enough sleep can tamper with our short- and long-term memory, make us irritable, short-circuit our impulse control (causing us to reach for donuts and chips instead of vegetables and grains), slow our reactions, and dampen our immune systems.