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The Benefits of Power Napping at Your Day Job

Ever catch yourself dozing off at your desk after lunch? It’s not uncommon to feel a little drowsy after eating, but it can be especially difficult in the workplace, where napping on the clock is traditionally viewed as taboo. 

In general, sleeping is considered an activity best kept at home and after hours, which makes sense: Home is where you tend to recharge and feel most comfortable. Your bedroom is also the setting you most likely associate with sleep and rest.

But recent research suggests that getting in some shut-eye throughout your workday actually enhances productivity. We like to call it “power napping,” and it may be the secret to slogging off that foggy food hangover you’re dealing with. 

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Call it what you will: a catnap, snatching 40 winks, taking a siesta — getting in that nap actually holds profound benefits for your overall well-being. 

To clarify, a power nap is a short sleep, typically 10 to 20 minutes long, and is intended to revitalize you. Research shows this length of time is the sweet spot for midday sleeping, the reason being that it’s just enough time for you to reap the benefits of sleep without dealing with “sleep inertia,” the groggy feeling you might be familiar with after sleeping for several hours. 

Here are some of the key benefits that come along with that quick snooze:

1. Improved learning and memory 
2. Less stress
3. Boosts in mood and creativity 
4. Increased productivity and alertness 
5. Decreased risk for heart disease 

      Need we say more? Power napping is a great way to stay sharp at work so you can always bring your a-game. You’re probably thinking, “If I had the time or place to sleep at work, I would!” 

      Great point. 

      Not all workplaces are open to the idea of napping on the job, and even less have designated areas for employees to rest. That being said, there are still some innovative ways you can get the rest you need at work.  

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      Your company doesn’t have to prioritize sleep for you to get that much-needed midday rest. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of you making it a priority for yourself. Here are some simple ways you can incorporate sleep into your workday. 

      Take Your Nap Early 

      Many people start to feel drowsy between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. If you can fit in a quick power nap during these hours, you’ll feel revamped — and it won’t interfere with your sleep at bedtime. 

      Find the Right Location

      Where you nap depends on where you feel comfortable and whether or not your employer will look upon it favorably or not. If it’s not ok, you may need to sneak it in on your lunch break. Either way, your car is always a great option! 

      Create an Ideal Sleeping Environment 

      A comfy, temperate (ideally between 60 and 67 degrees), and quiet room with no lights is the ideal spot to sleep. This might not always be accessible at work, but you can improve it by bringing in your own pillow or blanket to make your office desk more suitable.

      Keep It Brief

      Fifteen to 20 minutes is a realistic time for a power nap. You can fit that into your lunch break, or a quick afternoon break to break up your day. This is generally the sweet spot for most people, as it’s just enough time to make you feel rested and alert without feeling groggy. 

      Take Advantage of Sleeping Apps

      There are tons of apps out there designed to help you nap. Here are just a few to check out: 

      1. Sleep Cycle: This app monitors your sleep patterns and offers detailed analysis so you can get an idea of how well you’re really sleeping. 
      2. Relax & Sleep Well: Relax & Sleep Well offer 4 free hypnosis and meditation tracks to help you doze off quicker. 
      3. Pzizz: Pzizz provides “dreamscapes,” which are mashups of music mixes and voice recordings designed to help you sleep better. 
      4. Sleepo: Sleepo lets you pick different kinds of white noise to mix with either rain, nature, city, or meditation sounds, creating an ambience that puts you to sleep in no time. 
      5. Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker: This app syncs with your Apple watch, allowing you to monitor sleep cycles. It also includes alarm options, sleep trend tracking, and more.

            Wear the Right Attire

            We certainly wouldn’t hold it against you if wore our lounge and sleep wear to work (ladies, we’ve got some great loungewear options for you, too), but that probably won’t fly in the workplace. 

            That doesn’t mean you can’t invest in some comfy attire, though, like our fitted Stay-Tucked dress shirts. We use materials that are breathable, functional, and designed to give you the utmost comfort throughout the workday. They also make for great clothes to take a quick nap in! 

            To learn more about the benefits of napping in the workplace — and to see what companies out there support sleep in the workplace — check out our infographic below. 

            Download Infographic 

            Sources:

            NYTimes 1, 2 | SleepAdvisor | SideKick | Everyday Health | We Are the Mighty | Sleep.org | TheLocal.se | Reidsitaly.com | RAND Corp | Forbes | NSC