Photo: Matt McDaniel via Flickr
Naps have been a popular topic of discussion lately which is hard for me because when anyone says the word nap, I want to take one. But there is a real art to taking the perfect power nap and incorporating it into your workday (hey Arianna Huffington built an entire successfull second career out of it.)
If you find yourself really struggling to keep your eyes open during the work day you should consider a quick power nap. Dr. Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert and author of How to Sleep Well, told Global News a nap lasting 20 to 30 minutes can have tremendous benefits for your overall productivity. “[It] can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents,” he says. “The increase in alertness following a nap may persist for a few hours.” Once you go past that 30 minute mark your body enters a deep sleep so you will just be groggy and tired when you wake up.
Now on a weekend if you are a shift worker or if you are really behind on sleep you can consider taking a 90-minute nap. In that hour and a half you will do one full sleep cycle. Though the shorter power nap will make you more alert the rest of the day the 90-minute nap will improve your memory and creativity.
“A 90-minute nap can help you decompress and get creative juices flowing, because it covers a full sleep cycle, taking you from the lightest to deepest stages of sleep and back so you wake up refreshed,” Sara Mednick, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of California at Irvine, and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life told Women’s Health.
But where to nap?
Of course, the real problem with napping at work is where do you do it? You could pull a George Costanza and sleep under your desk (especially easy if you have your own office) but in this world of more and more open office spaces, that is getting harder. However many companies are installing nap pods in their offices, according to The Chicago Tribune. Your office could be next!
All of this helps contribute to the stigma around naps. And with a third of U.S. adults not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there should be less negative views on workplace napping. Just remember: WWAHD (What would Arianna Huffington do?)