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Professional athletes are known for their pre-game rituals. In the NBA, LeBron James tosses chalk in the air (allegedly a nod to fellow legend Michael Jordan), while Kevin Garnett would slap his chest to the crowd and then hit his head on the basket support, and Dwyane Wade would do three pull-ups on the rim. While many rituals are as unique as the players themselves, a widely embraced practice for pro ballers is the pre-game nap. LeBron James, Derrick Rose and the late Kobe Bryant were all serial nappers, and that’s no coincidence: Research has shown that rest of that kind boosts performance, including perceptional awareness. NBA commissioner Adam Silver once went as far as to say, “Everyone in the league office knows not to call players at 3:00 p.m.”
Despite this, “sleeping on the job” still sports a negative lifestyle connotation. In the startup world especially, where entrepreneurs make no secret of burning the candle at both ends, a daytime snooze seems antithetical to the deeply-engrained hustle culture, but a nap during office hours can be very effective in boosting overall health, including fighting the all-too-common burnout phenomenon. As reported by Harvard Business Review, studies suggest that up to 61% of U.S. professionals feel like they’re burning out at any given moment, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatigue costs American businesses up to $218 billion annually in reduced productivity and worker absence due to related health issues.