Ergonomic Standing Desks and Chairs

"Best Standing Desk" - Techradar, for 3 Years Running | Free Shipping | 30 Day Free Returns

The Importance of Taking Power Naps in the Office

06 November 2022

Getting caught sleeping on the job has been criminal-adjacent for a while in corporate America. But, as scientific reasoning and the 'psychology of the workplace' become more emphasized, that's no longer the case for many upwardly mobile organizations worldwide. It seems Spain and Italy were ahead of everyone with their after-lunch siestas!

Now, we're starting to also make progress, and we have National Napping Day every March 15. In addition, the entire month is dedicated to sleep awareness. According to a Pew Research survey, 34% of those polled take a brief nap at work, especially after lunch. And why not? After all, it is a cheaper and healthier alternative to coffee and energy drinks and helps you reboot your brain to avoid the afternoon slump.

Today we focus on the benefits of taking your afternoon snooze, the implied benefits, and how to do it right–since it is an office at the end of the day.



What Are the Benefits of Taking a Power Nap in the Office?

An excerpt from the book Take a Nap! Change Your Life shows that a power napper's memory and overall brain function remain at peak throughout the day. However, such variables decline for those that don't nap on the job as the day progresses. The same author discovered from her research that a worktime siesta reduces the chances of sustaining a fatal heart attack by 34%.

A brief nap can also reduce stress by upping your blood cortisol levels. That's why you always wake up feeling refreshed and re-energized.

Here is a breakdown of other unsung benefits of power napping in the office:

Enhanced Brain Function When you sleep, your brain pauses the thoughts running through your conscious mind. We dream in the subconscious, which needs less "processing power ."That's why we sometimes wake up with solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems that we had before taking a nap.

1. Improves Alertness

Do you feel like you can see in the dark when you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Sleep replenishes your eyes, making them more sensitive to light. Your brain also wakes up on a clean slate, ready to engage in any task.

2. Increases Productivity

Sleeping allows you to digest food and assimilate all the minerals that power nerve impulses. This is made possible because sleeping allows your metabolism to slow down. And that's why you wake up more energetic and focused than at the end of the day when you get to bed.

3. Elevates Mood

Let's face it. Life is a constant battlefield without any seize fires or peace treaties for relief. However, dreamland can be the haven you crave. Even if you have a nightmare, you're still sure to get a massive dose of endorphins, adrenaline, and other "happiness hormones" in your bloodstream.

This dose of hormones can continue to improve your mood up to an hour after joining the waking world.

4. Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Your breathing decreases as you sleep, which lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. This can prevent heart disease or help you control related symptoms.



How Can Organizations Build Ideal Nap Nooks or Spaces?

The science adds up, and even behemoths like Google have embraced the idea of sleep pods and nap nooks. However, sleeping brushes most employers the wrong way. The problem is mainly how to moderate it in the workplace.

Here are some ideas to get things rolling:

Location: Workstations Nooks Vs. Communal Nap Chambers

Communal nap rooms and individual nap nooks are both ideal. However, settling on the best option depends on available space and other logistical factors.

Here are the benefits of each approach:

Communal Nap Chambers

Communal nap rooms are suitable for organizations that can spare an entire room. Management can control when and for how long you can use them. And they offer a relaxing way to kill the monotony of sweating it out at your workstation.

Employees get more room to lay down ergonomically as you can add adjustable beds. You also don't distract your co-workers who don't want to nap at work as they continue with their tasks.

Workstation Nap Nooks

Workstation nap nooks allow employees to sleep close to their desks. You can customize your nook, especially if you have a height-adjustable desk. This piece of furniture allows you to slot an under-the-desk hammock so that you can catch some Zs in comfort.

However, individual nap nooks can make a communal office space ambiguous. For instance, how should your co-worker continue working if you're napping next to them? What will office visitors think if they see people clocking out at their desks?

Therefore, companies should do some scenario planning before implementing such initiatives. Then, maybe implement it in test phases to monitor the plans' viability and ROI benefits.



Ensuring Ideal Conditions for Sleep

Once you settle on the ideal location, you can focus on providing suitable conditions for a restful nap. Below are three key factors to guide your decision:

1. Temperature Control

We all sleep better in a slightly cooler room. You can control the temperature in a communal nap room by turning down the thermostat. However, nap nooks can be a challenge since they are situated in the general work area, whose temperature regulation is subject to more than one person's ideal nap conditions.

2. Noise Control

Some of us can sleep through a tornado while others awake to the sound of a leaky faucet. You can control noise levels by insulating a communal chamber. And for workers that sleep at their desks, noise-canceling headphones are more realistic.

3. Light Control

Yet again, this will be easier to control in a communal nap room. You merely dim or turn the lights off. Individual nappers may have to get some eye blinds or think of some inventive ways to keep the light away from their eyes.



Provide Materials to Make Sleeping More Comfortable in the Office

When you're really tired, you can sleep on a rock, train, or any other unconventional places. The most important factor is getting that shut-eye. But since this is an active attempt at making work-time naps a refreshing experience, here are items that can help help towards that goal.

Blankets can help stabilize your body temperature because they'll drop when you sleep. It also keeps you snug and comfortable, so you don't wake up startled.

Cushions and pillows can help to stabilize your neck. You can also place them in other areas of the body to prevent muscle aches and joint tightness.

Ergonomic furniture can make your nap more comfortable. For instance, a quality ergonomic office chair can recline to ensure you sleep in a healthy posture.



How to Have a Restful Afternoon Power Nap in the Office

Power naps aren't for everybody. Some people have trouble falling asleep when the sun is up. But, if you're not one of them, you stand to gain all the benefits mentioned in this article. The best time to catch some shut-eye is between 2 and 3 pm.

Here are some other ways to improve your sleep quality:

Cut Back on Caffeine

It may be wise to limit your caffeine intake if you plan to nap in the office. You can do so by having your last cup of coffee or a can of energy drink at 11 pm. This drink will have filtered out of your bloodstream by 2 pm.

Reduce Disruptions

Turn off all electronic devices and find a quiet spot to nap. Consider using noise-canceling headphones + white noise or earplugs, if that's not an option.

Set an Alarm

A 10 to 30-minute nap is adequate. So set the alarm to wake you up after a short power nap. Otherwise, you may fail to wake up, feel sore and cranky, or expend all the sleep you need to save for the nighttime.

Comfort Is Key

As mentioned, invest in an ergonomic office chair if you don't have space for a hammock or sleep pod. You can use the lumbar support and recliner settings to prevent back injuries as you nap.

Get Up Gently

Some people feel cranky and slow, especially after an extended power nap. Please give yourself a few minutes to sort your thoughts before returning to work. Take a walk to the restroom, wash your face, stretch your body, and re-acquaint yourself with your surroundings. That will give you the composure to continue with your job.


Conclusion

It's time that we stop all the stigma associated with taking naps (especially after lunch) while in the office. We've barely scratched the surface of the mountains of empirical data considered while researching this article. But you can see the benefits roll in.

We hope these tips help you factor a power nap into your busy schedule. That way, you can maximize your physical and mental strength at work.