Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hello I'm Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm joined today by Finn. Hello Finn. Finn... Hello, Finn. Oh... Oh, sorry Rob, you caught me napping. It's that time of day when I need to nod off, or in other words, fall asleep. Well, sleeping on the job, or sleeping at work, is no bad thing. And I hope today's programme will wake you up to the idea that sleeping in the workplace might be a good thing. Oh really! Well, that's good to hear. I would have thought that sleeping at work was against the rules. Well, not in every office, Finn. And I'll tell you why soon as well as explaining some sleep-related vocabulary. But now you're wide awake, how about a question? - OK, let's hear it. - Right. Well, when the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was in power, she did her job with very little sleep. But, do you know how many hours of sleep she is said to have had each night? Was it A. Three hours, B. Four hours, or C. Five hours? I always thought she got by, she managed her job with just four hours of sleep a night, Rob. Right, it's not much, is it? Well, we'll find out if you are right or wrong later on. I'm not sure if she chose not to sleep for long or she just wasn't able to sleep for long. Someone who can't sleep is called an insomniac. And I'm certainly not an insomniac. I enjoy sleeping all night and some of the day, too. And Rob, you said napping during the day is a good thing? Yes, it's always nice to have a short sleep or what I call 40 winks during the day, but when you're at work this can be a problem. In some companies, like Google and the Huffington Post, workplace naps are positively encouraged. They're seen as a way to make staff more productive. Yes, so you mean they work harder and are more creative because a power-nap or a quick sleep can makes workers feel refreshed and more alert. - I really like the sound of this, Rob! - Me, too. And an Australian health writer called Thea O'Connor is a founder of a campaign called Nap Now, which is trying to make sleeping at work more acceptable. She calls herself a 'naptivist'! Let's hear from her now. What does she say is stopping us from doing this? I think that our culture is a bit crazy not to embrace it, and one of the reasons we don't is our attitude which is quite counter-cultural to do nothing in order to get ahead. I just really see that it's time to disrupt the prevailing work ethic which is all about work longer and harder. Right, so she wants us to embrace, to accept the idea of a workplace power-nap. But it is our attitude, the way we think about work, that stops society from accepting this. Yes, she explains that it is counter-cultural, so going against the normal way of thinking to actually do nothing and have a snooze. That's why she is trying to change or to disrupt our current work ethic of working longer and harder. She believes this doesn't necessarily bring better results. But, Rob, is this idea just a fad – something that's popular for a short while? Maybe, but research has certainly shown that good quantity and quality of sleep is important for our well-being. A few years ago research by the East of England Development Agency found 30% of people have their best ideas in bed compared to just 11% who have them at their desk. It called for companies to install beds in the workplace. Right. Well, there aren't any in our office that I can see yet, Rob. But, I think putting beds or areas for naps in the office would help us workers feel more able to rest and recharge our minds. Yes, but an alternative idea would be to change our working hours. The UK's Sleep Council claims the nine-to-five work culture doesn't fit into the natural sleeping pattern of the human race. And bosses need to introduce a more sleep-friendly working day. Woo, yes. That sounds like a siesta to me, that's a short period of sleep in the middle of the day that people in warm places like Spain often have. My problem with a siesta is that if I have a sleep in the afternoon I'd never wake up! - Never at all. - No! Well before you nod off now, Rob, Could you please tell me the answer to today's question? Yes. I asked you if you knew how many hours of sleep the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, is said to have had each night? Was it three, four, or five hours? I said four hours, Rob. Was I right? - Indeed, Finn, you are right. Four hours. -For once. Yes, it has often been said she needed just four hours of sleep. - But only on weekdays, not weekends. - Low-lying weekends. Well, before you have another power-nap, could you remind us of some of the vocabularies that we've heard today? Off course, we've heard: napping, nod off, sleeping on the job, insomniac, 40 winks, power-nap, naptivist, attitude, counter-cultural, work ethic, well-being, nine-to-five, siesta. Well, we hope you've enjoyed today's programme. Please join us again soon for another 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. Bye Bye.