PARIS – The French already enjoy a 35-hour work week and generous vacation. Now the health minister wants to look into whether workers should be allowed to sleep on the job.
France launched plans this week to spend $9 million this year to improve public awareness about sleeping troubles. About one in three French people suffer from them, the ministry says.
Fifty-six percent of French complain that a poor night's sleep has affected their job performance, according to the ministry.
"Why not a nap at work? It can't be a taboo subject," Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said Monday. He called for further studies and said he would promote on-the-job naps if they prove useful.
France's state-run health insurance provider will send letters explaining the importance of good sleep, and tips on how to get a good night's rest. The Health Ministry's Web site offers a questionnaire to help visitors evaluate how well they sleep.
Bertrand said sleepiness causes 20 percent to 30 percent of highway accidents across France each year.