Feeling the effects of sleep deprivation at work? No amount of double shot espressos can accomplish what a couple of quality sleep cycles can!
Whereas many European countries commonly shut down businesses for an afternoon siesta, North American workplaces generally frown upon getting some shut-eye at work. But there’s something to be said for incorporating a power nap into your day, especially during that after-lunch energy drain.
Let’s Bring Back Nap Time!
Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life says, “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping. You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.” (1)
Research shows that sleep deprivation is no small issue. It can lead interfere with: (2)
- mental clarity
- reaction time
- memory creation
- stress management
- blood pressure and heart health
Some American workplaces have seen the light and actually encourage their employees to recharge their brains with a nap to make for a more creative and productive afternoon.
Google employees are encouraged to take power naps at work. David Radcliffe—Vice President, Real Estate and Workplace Services— is reported as saying, “No workplace is complete without a nap pod.” After founder, Ariana Huffington battled sleep deprivation, Huffington Post began providing nap rooms for their employees to use during work hours. These companies are joined by NASA, Mercedez-Benz Financial Services, White & Case, and countless other up-and-coming brands. (3)
Related Reading: A Nap Desk is Exactly What You Need to Be Productive at Work
Do’s and Don’ts of Power Napping
If you’re going to try to convince your supervisor to let you nod off at work, you should know how to optimize your naptime for better cognition, stress management, and energy.
- Limit your nap to 20 minutes. Much longer can make you feel more groggy afterward.
- Get cozy with a blanket. The warm temperature can help you fall asleep faster and get quality rest.
- Nap at the same time every day. (4)
- Nap after 3:00 pm. Late naps can interrupt your nighttime sleep cycle and make you more tired in the long run.
- Try to sleep in a noisy or bright environment.
- Power nap if you have an existing sleep condition. Sometimes daytime naps can worsen these. (4)
The Ultimate Office Chair for Napping
Japanese retailer Thanko distributes the “Lay Flat Office Chair“, which at first glance seems like a standard wheeled office chair, but seamlessly converts into a completely perpendicular office bed. You can purchase the chair for a cool ¥49,800 (approximately $600).
Luckily, there are similar models that don’t require such a long waiting period for shipping. For instance, there’s XUERUI 360 Degree Swivel Chair which reclines to about 145 degrees, available on Amazon from $600 or Happybuy Executive Swivel Office Chair available on Amazon from $115.