We all know the feeling of waking up for work and just not wanting to get out of bed. Either a late night, a heavy schedule or even the thought of leaving the warmth of the duvet, are just some of the reasons why getting out of bed for work sucks. But sometimes even when you get to work, you can’t take your mind off returning to bed – and this is why you need to find a great opportunity to take a nap at work.
Why nap at work?
OK, so I understand that napping at work sounds pretty risky, but doing it is so much fun! It gives you the chance to take a little time, get back in the zone and recharge your batteries. I’m not talking about taking a 2 hour nap but a great 20-30 minute stretch can do you wonders, so why not give it a shot?
What are the benefits of napping at work?
- Improve productivity: If you’re getting a little tired, or your legs are starting to drag a little, taking a nice nap to refocus your energy is the best way to improve your results for the rest of the day. According to NASA scientists you just need to nap for 26 minutes. It’s a great amount of time to sleep during lunch, or leave the desk without catching anyone’s attention and you’ll return to your job feeling ship-shaped and ready to tackle the afternoon with a newfound determination.
- Helping your mental health: Working can be very draining, and while most of us have got to do it, this doesn’t make it any easier at all. The stress of your job can easily get you down, and if you’re not sleeping great at home, then it can affect your work too. You need to be in the right mental state to conduct your job properly, so in order to try and regain a little control, it’s worth turning to the land of nod to get some well-earned rest.
When can I nap at work?
- While big meetings are going on: I know this sounds very risky, but I don’t mean while you’re in a big meeting, I just mean while they’re going on around you! If you’re in a smaller office this works perfectly. Everyone goes off for an hour meeting about this, or that, and only a few friends or some admin workers are still around. While the big-wigs are in their meeting, you can get a little shut-eye in one of the smaller rooms. If your office/workspace has a gym or a TV room, or your car is close by, these are perfect places to hide away and nap at work.
- During your lunch break: This is your time so do with it what you please. You’re most likely to have at least half an hour, maybe even an hour, so make sure you use that time well and nap if you want to. But just remember to set an alarm!
- When the boss is away: A great time to nap is when you know your boss is away for the day. Whether they’re on holiday, or during an external meeting, if you know they’re not in, you can catch some sleep for sure. What you don’t want to do, though, is make it look obvious. Some people in the office might well have their eye on you while your line manager is elsewhere. Be sure to be cute with your time and sleep under the radar.
- Home working: Working from home is the best way to nap on the job! If you’re allowed to work from the comfort of where you live, then you would be crazy not to slip a nap or two in, but just make sure you keep your phone on loud so that if you’re sleeping and your boss rings you, you can jump up and answer it like nothing was wrong.
Is it easy to get away with?
If you’re napping on a break, then go nuts! You’re allowed to do it then. But if you’re choosing another one of the ways above, you’ll need to be at least a little sneakier.
If you’re smart and don’t get too cocky (anything over a 30-minute nap in work is just asking for trouble!) then you can easily get away with it. If you’re in a big office, then there’s too many people to notice you’re gone, and if you’re in a small office then people are usually too busy to notice you’re not there. Perfect!
What if I get caught?
Well that’s just hard luck. The chances of you getting caught sleeping in work are pretty slim, but it’s worth just being honest. It’s also worth knowing when you’re beaten. Telling the truth as to why you’re sleeping on the job might just be the best way to get out of that situation unscathed!
If napping becomes a regular thing
Genuinely, you shouldn’t find yourself napping every day. You shouldn’t really find yourself napping weekly at work, either. And if you find it tough making your way to the end of the day without a nap, it’s well worth chatting it over with your employer.
Tips on napping at work
- Set an alarm and stick to it. You’re in work, so no pressing the snooze button. This is a sure enough sign you will sleep the day away! Be careful!
- Put your phone on the loud setting – If someone from work needs to get hold of you, you need to be able to answer. You don’t really want them to know you’re sleeping, so leaving the phone to ring out will most likely result in them coming to hunt you down. Which is never good, especially if you’re asleep.
- Be tactical about it – Nap in the right place, at the right time, and tell the right people. A work friend is never going to rat you out, but they can also look out for suspicious eyes coming from across the room. Plan your nap carefully.
Napping at work is an art form that is often practiced with great caution. But if you can get it right, you can genuinely improve your working life by redefining how you go about the rest of your day.
About the author: Frank Apodaca is the lead editor of The Sleep Judge. A website that provides honest reviews of a wide range of sleep products as well as information for those looking for a better night’s sleep.