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At-Work Catnapping Guide

16 February 2024

You're at work, you've just had lunch, and now, your eyes feel heavy. You only had 5 to 6 hours of sleep at night, and it feels like your mind has shut itself down. You aren't able to focus on your work at all. The worst part is that there are still several hours left before you can finally go home.

What do you do? You can't tell your boss I can't work, "I'm very sleepy" Can you?

This is where catnapping comes into the picture. Catnapping, more commonly known as power napping, is one of the best ways to recharge your battery and resume work at full throttle!

Back in the day, you couldn't even imagine closing your eyes to take a power nap at your workstation, but today, you'll be surprised to know that many employers have made dedicated rooms where employees can take 15 to 20 minutes long naps and return to their workstations all fresh. Employers don't even mind if they find an employee resting their heads on their desks for a quick nap.

This isn't because employers feel sympathetic towards employees, but it's because employers know the many benefits of catnapping at work!

If you've never thought about allowing your employees to catnap at work, it's high time you do! This blog post will help you understand how catnapping can help employees and what's the best way to take a quick nap at work to make it most fruitful.

Understanding Catnapping

Catnap is simply a short nap that you take during the day. There's no fixed way of defining it, and there's no fixed duration of how long it can be. It can be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Taking a nap longer than 20 minutes puts you at a higher risk of grogginess which will only make things worse at work. This is because after around 30 minutes of sleeping, the body enters into a state of deep sleep, and waking up from deep sleep can make you feel disoriented and sleepier. Ideally, a catnap shouldn't exceed 30 minutes.

Catnapping doesn't mean you can sleep at work and forget you've got work to do. It's supposed to be a quick nap to kick the afternoon laziness and replenish your exhausted energy stores.

Benefits of Catnapping at Work

Catnapping at work has many benefits for the employees. It's normal to not be able to sleep for at least 9 hours every night, and when you haven't had sufficient sleep at night, you'll find it hard to focus on your work.

Let's look at the many ways catnap can help you perform better at work.

Improves Alertness

Taking a short nap of about 15 to 20 minutes can improve your alertness. You'll be more present and, therefore, will be able to focus on your work more.

The effect of a power nap on alertness is backed by plenty of research. According to research conducted on male athletes, a 30-minute power nap sparked alertness, and the athletes were able to improve their cognitive skills. In another research, taking strategic power naps helped fatigued pilots feel more active and alert and enhanced their performance.

Improves Mood

You'll naturally be more irritable and cranky if you feel sleepy at work. You would just want the day to end so you can return home. And you can't give your best if you aren't feeling the best. Catnapping can improve your mood and help you work with full dedication.

Napping for about 20 minutes will help your mind relax, and when you finally resume work, you'll be in a better state of mind, and your mood will be much better, enabling you to perform better and deliver better results.

Releases Stress

Work-related stress is a real deal. Nearly everyone working today is stressed. When you're stressed, you won't be able to focus well on your work. You'll be edgy and anxious all the time. You won't be able to make the right decisions at the right time because your stress will get better for you. However, catnapping can reduce stress and make you feel more confident about yourself.

When you manage your stress, your performance at work will improve, and you'll be able to present yourself as a more valuable addition to the team.

Reduces Fatigue

Having to sit on your office chair or working at a standing desk like the Kana Pro Bamboo Standing Desk all day long is definitely not easy. It can tire you out physically and mentally. Sitting in the same posture all day long also results in fatigue. It goes without saying that when you're fatigued, your performance at work will go downhill. But you can change things at work with a quick nap.

Taking a short nap will release tension from your body and help you relax, making you feel fresh and active. When your energy stores are full, and your body feels light, you'll be able to focus better on your work and perform better!

How to Make a Catnap Most Fruitful?

If you don't do it right, you might not be able to reap the maximum benefit of catnapping at work. The whole idea of catnapping at work is to relax your mind and body, get away from the work stress, and give yourself some downtime.

We've listed down some tips that will help you make the most out of your catnap at work so that when you finally resume work, you feel a burst of energy and work to the best of your abilities.

Set a Regular Nap Time

You should nap at the same time every day. This helps your body get used to the new routine. You may find it hard to fall asleep at work for the first few weeks because you'll feel too conscious, but if you stick to a schedule, your body will adapt to your routine, and after a few days, you'll be able to fall asleep almost instantly.

The best time to take a catnap at work is after you've had lunch because that's the time when most employees wish to go home and get in their beds. Experts suggest you take a power nap after 6 to 7 hours after you last woke up.

Keep Your Naps Short

Have you ever felt confused and disoriented when your phone rings in the middle of the night? It takes a couple of minutes for you to register where you are and what's happening. That's because you woke from a deep sleep.

If you sleep for too long, your body will fall deeper into the sleep state, making it hard for you to wake up and then return to work. A power nap should be treated as a power nap and not as an opportunity to make up for the missed sleep at night.

You should keep your nap short. Ideally, a catnap should be 10 to 20 minutes long, but you can also take a 30-minute nap. A nap longer than 30 minutes will result in grogginess, and you won't be able to work at all.

Cutoff from Stimuli

Catnapping at work means you don't have enough time to lie down, use your phone, and take a nap. You've got 20 minutes, and that's about it. To make the most of your catnap, cut off from all possible stimuli before falling asleep. The biggest disturbance would be your mobile phone. Switch it off or put it on silent mode so that it doesn't disturb you during the little time you've got to take a nap.

Find a Quiet Place

Napping at your desk might not be the best option if your workplace features an open office plan. Open offices are quite noisy; one simply can't take a nap with everyone roaming around and talking to each other. Find yourself a quiet place, like a meeting room or conference hall. Fold your hands over the tabletop, rest your head on your arms, and sleep.

Set an Alarm

If you're too tired or haven't had a good sleep last night, the chances are that you'll sleep well beyond the 20 minutes mark. It's normal to lose track of time when you're in deep slumber. And you certainly can't afford that at work. Not only will that be seen as irresponsible behavior, but it'll also be bad for your reputation.

So, set the alarm for 20 minutes before setting yourself up for a nap at work to ensure you won't sleep more than 20 minutes. Another benefit of setting the alarm is that you'll be able to fall asleep easily. When you don't have an alarm, your mind will continuously be alert, and you'll keep checking the clock to see how long you have been away from your workstation. This would ruin the 20 minutes you have got. Setting the alarm will enable you to utilize the full 20 minutes for a nap at work!

Closing Word

Catnapping at work is one of the best ways to recharge your draining battery and return to work with full energy. The more energetic you are at work, the better your work will be. The better results you produce, the higher your chances for growth will be.

As for the employers, the business will flourish when their employees work to the best of their potential. In short, it's a win-win situation for everyone!