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Why New York City is up in arms about napping

Napping Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Jojo Jovanovic

New York City is worked up right now, and it’s not because of subway delays or gridlock traffic or a potential nuclear attack. (Well, okay, those things, too.) But no, the Big Apple is currently up in arms about the (surprisingly controversial) topic of napping.

Why? Well, because according to the nap-shaming New York Post, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has been outed by former staffers for his penchant for taking the occasional 30–45-minute post-workout nap…in his office. A habit that, one source said, is “pretty widely known within the building.”

Wouldn’t you rather the mayor be rested so he can function, make important decisions, and serve his constituents?

And people have opinions about this. The internet, as you can image, is going all-in on #napgate. Should the mayor be squeezing in some extra shut-eye at work? On one side of the pillow, there’s the “elected official shouldn’t be snoozing on taxpayers’ time” argument. On the other side, there’s Arianna Huffington and other nap enthusiasts who think, well, wouldn’t you rather the mayor be rested so he can function, make important decisions, and serve his constituents?

Then there’s science. Some studies argue that naps are bad for you, because they lead to irregular sleep cycles (which in turn lead to a host of other issues, including weight gain and lower performance levels). But there’s a reason why nap bars are popping up around the world: Proponents of the cat nap (even at work) point out that it’s a biological need and a way to improve productivity. Plus, midday recharge sessions offer long-term health benefits like a reduction in cardiovascular disease, and short-term ones like better decision-making skills—which is an important part of the mayor’s job description.

Regardless of where you fall on the midday snooze spectrum, the sleepy scandal has inspired some pretty good Twitter work.

While the jury is still out on de Blasio’s sleep habits, if anyone does have information on how a 6’5″ human sleeps comfortably on a couch, get in touch. (In the meantime, I’m waiting for city-sanctioned nap time legislation.)

Catching up on zzz’s? Read more about what the future of sleep looks like, Mandy Moore’s secret for great sleep, and how a lack of sleep could make you feel drunk at work.