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December 1, 2014 | By Barbara Stepko

Naps used to get a bad rap, conjuring up all sorts of unfortunate—and unfair—images of slackers, rambunctious kindergarteners in need of time outs, and AARP members looking to rest their weary bones.

Not anymore. A 2013 Gallup Poll revealed that 40% of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night; what’s more 43% admitted they’d feel better if they got more sleep. So it makes sense that we’d try to catch some extra zzz’s whenever (and sometimes wherever) we can.

And more and more people are doing just that. Companies like Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Proctor and Gamble encourage employees to take nap breaks. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is one of several colleges to set up rooms for napping. (Located in the school’s library, UM’s nap station is equipped with vinyl cots…

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