What’s the latest perk at companies big and small? No, it’s not gym memberships, or free lunches. It’s giving employees time – and a place – to take naps! Why? Because napping improves productivity, mood and job satisfaction. And it’s backed up by science.

For centuries, people have napped to escape the afternoon heat in hot climates, like Spain. But recently, businesses everywhere are encouraging employees to nap by providing napping rooms, including Ben & Jerry’s, Google, and NASA - which is teaching astronauts how to nap better during long missions.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that napping boosts your brain’s ability to focus and retain information, increases creativity, and speeds up the process of long-term memory storage. Regular naps also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Dr. James Maas, a sleep expert at Cornell University, coined the term “power nap” 36 years ago. And he says excessive tiredness turns your memory neurons off.  In other words, your eyes are open, but nobody’s home. Dr. Maas says a 15-minute nap will bring your brain back into working order. But don’t sleep longer than that. Because a 30-minute or 60-minute nap puts you in deep Delta-wave sleep, which will leave you groggy when you wake up.