How to nap comfortably at work
Sometimes, we need a break, especially on a working day. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can affect human’s short-term and long-term memory. Even worse, it can make us irritable and moody. And it will short-circuit our impulse control, making us tend to reach for high-calorie food instead of vegetables and grains. Also it can slow our reactions and dampen our immune system.
Many have tried, and have proven that taking a quick nap at work do make a difference. Even 5 or 10 minutes of rest can offer a little boost of energy that you might try to get from another cup of coffee. But “Duration is very important,” says Damien Léger, a doctor who runs the sleep-research center at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Paris. Try to sleep for 20 minutes. If you sleep any longer, and you will be risking drifting into what scientists call “slow-wave” sleep, a state of languid brain-wave activity considered important for consolidating memories. So you may need to set an alarm clock to achieve that.
In our office, we don’t have a solid rule, but our colleagues all have the same napping culture. After we finish lunch and have a little rest, then there will be someone to turn off all the lights and lower down the curtains. If napping is not allowed in your office, try to earn it.
A NASA study showed that quick naps improved mission task performance by 34%. The results were so successful that NASA workers in space and on the ground adapted napping into their work culture. And if it’s OK with NASA, it should be just fine with your boss.
Assuming that napping is allowed in your office, let’s figure out how to nap comfortably at work.
Nap at the Right Time
Considered the working time, you need to make it short and right. Nap after lunch is the first choice. A post-lunch nap is a reasonable request in common sense, and it also follows the natural sleep/wake cycle of your body.
Nap in A Proper Environment
Try to find a quiet and privacy space where you won’t be easily disturbed. And turn off the lights, computer, your phone if possible.
Nap with Helpers
It’s worthy to invest in stuff that you can use during nap.
A pair of earplugs might help you to shield off other noise during nap.
A sleep mask can help you to imitate a dim environment at work space.
A neck pillow is the most necessary tool to take comfortable nap at work.
A fuzzy blanket keeps you from catching cold while sleeping.
Nap with a Routine
Your body can be trained to fall asleep quickly by establishing a daily routine. Eat right and avoid consuming caffeine, fat, carbohydrates or sugar for lunch. Napping in the same place and at the same time.
And don’t forget to make it short. 20 minutes would be perfect. It’s easy to achieve and fits right into a lunch break. And once you fall into a deep stage of sleep, you will wake up feeling groggy. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to notify. Repeat it until your body finds its own routine and you will benefit from the nap you take during work over time.