Napping At Work - 6 Top Tips

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Happy World Sleep Day!

Napping at work may be frowned upon for some of us, but there’s actually a scientific case to be made for sneaking in a few checky zzzz’s. In fact, a study by John Moore University found that taking a quick 30-min lunchtime nap improved, alertness, memory and accuracy when performing tasks. So, taking the liberty of grabbing some shut eye during the working day might actually improve your performance!

If you’re one of the employees among the masses that now work from home, getting stuck into a nap habit will be even easier.

Whilst we certainly don’t condone sleeping when you should be working on critical tasks (and, in particular, when you’re operating heavy machinery), here are a few tips on catching 40 winks without annoying your boss.

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Keep nap time short

A healthy nap is actually a lot shorter than you might think. According to The Sleep Foundation, the optimum nap duration is between 15 and 30 minutes. Any longer than this and the body could reach a deeper level of sleep. At which point chemicals are released into the bloodstream and changes in electric activity in the brain shift the body even further into its sleep mode. So to avoid waking up feeling even sleepier, make sure you keep to the shallow depths of sleep!

With the average lunch break usually lasting no more than an hour, even if more zeds did come with extra benefits, getting caught sleeping on the job is unlikely to do you any favours come your next performance review.

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Nap on your lunch break

Breaking up your day with a quick power nap will help keep you focused and productive long into the afternoon.

Conveniently, your natural body clock is usually programmed to feel sleepy during the middle of the day, somewhere between 1pm and 3pm.

Take a nap too early and your body might not actually be ready to sleep. Leave it too late and it might interfere with your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.

Find somewhere quiet

Unless you work at Google, it’s unlikely you have access to state of the art sleeping pods. However, a surprisingly good alternative can be your car. It might not be as glamorous, but it still creates some separation from your work environment. Park in a quiet spot, recline the seat, get comfortable, maybe even pop on some soothing music and close your eyes.

For those that walk to work, you could try and find a quiet meeting room, or even a local library or gym that has a quiet room you can utilise.

Take advantage of ‘Do Not Disturb’

Tell your colleagues you’ll be out of the office for 30 mins during your break (or however long you’re able to take). Set your phone to Do Not Disturb to avoid receiving any unwanted interruptions. Apple users can take it a step further by enabling app limits in their settings, meaning you won’t be tempted to scroll social media.

Even if you don’t manage to fall asleep, just taking a break away from your working environment will help you to feel more calm, relaxed, and refreshed.

One important thing NOT to switch off, though, is your alarm 🙂

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Block out the noise

If you plan on getting some shut-eye in the car, try to make sure you’re parked in a fairly quiet spot. If noise is still an issue or you don’t have the luxury of a car, a good pair of earplugs might be your new best friend. Another option is to play some music or white noise. Find something you like on Youtube or Spotify, play it through your headphones, and drift off.

Set the mood

Mastering the habit of falling asleep during your lunch break is not something that most of us can just do at will – at least not easily. To help you doze off faster, bring something that you associate with sleep to use during your nap. 

It could be a cosy pair of socks, dabbing some lavender oil on your pulse points, or popping on a soothing soundtrack such as one of our guided meditations. If you’re able to get away from your desk into your car, have a fuzzy blanket, neck pillow and eye mask on hand to help transport you into dreamland faster.

That’s a wrap

Remember, while the divine art of the power nap is one that is well worth some study and exploration, it certainly isn’t worth losing your job over. These tips will hopefully put you in good stead to maximise the benefits of a quick nap whilst avoiding the potential downsides, but do use your best judgement!

If you have any top tips that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Get free access to wellbeing resources, news and research

Get access to the exclusive Haptivate Wellbeing Resource Hub and stay up to date with all the latest wellbeing at work research, tools and tips by joining our monthly newsletter. We promise not to share your data or spam you with irrelevant information 🙂

Aysha Frost

Aysha Frost

Digital Marketing

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