One of the biggest contradictions about Filipinos is their sleeping habits, particularly how these were formed. From infancy to adolescence, Filipino children were practically forced to learn the habit of siesta, or the taking afternoon naps. As such, Pinoys were programmed to sleep in the afternoon.

Ironically, things turn abruptly when they start to work. Taking office naps are generally viewed as a taboo in the Philippine workplace. To many, taking power naps have become synonymous with laziness or even incompetence.

There is good news however for people who still have a hard time kicking the afternoon nap habit. This as more and more companies, especially in the US, have started to adopt the thinking that taking naps during office hours is something that does more harm than good.

This mind set is not entirely new. As early as the 1980s, sleep scientist David Dinges, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was already advocating power naps in the office after his studies showed that short periods of sleep have been shown to improve alertness, memory, motor skills, decision-making, and mood. It also cuts down stress, carelessness, and even heart disease. Subsequent studies also support this breakthrough research.

Most doctors believe that sleep, more than coffee, brings the benefit of better alertness among employees, consequently bring forth better productivity.

The body needs about eight hours of sleep per day. Since many Filipino employees rarely get that luxury, it makes sense that they supplement sleep deprivation with some office shut-eye.

Experts say getting a 20-minute power nap is enough to increase alertness and stamina, improve learning, clear the brain of useless information, and help in long-term memory.

In fact, some of the best companies in the world—whether old or emerging firms—have taken napping seriously that they now include having nap rooms as a workplace perk offered to employees.

For instance, Google has long been maintaining “Energy Pods,” which are white capsules that employees can use to take naps. Huffington Post also has “NapQuest” rooms with the same Energy Pods.

Other companies that have the same perk for office naps are AOL, Zappos, Nike, British Airways, and Time Warner.