In most workplaces, falling asleep on the job can get you in trouble with your boss. However, some employers, including Nike and Google, are fighting fatigue beyond free coffee and are allowing employees to power nap at work.
Studies have shown that naps can improve alertness, memory, motor skills, decision-making, and mood, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report. In addition, a power nap can also decrease stress, carelessness on the job, and improve overall health.
“A short nap in the afternoon will get rid of sleepiness without interfering with nighttime sleep,” says Jim Horne, director of the sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in England.
With 20 percent of American suffering from sleepiness during the day, a mid-day nap can be a simple solution for overtired workers. However, “if you’ve been up all night, [naps] may give you a hangover effect known as ‘sleep inertia’,” warns Dr. Roger Rosa, a scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
If your employer has a permits power naps, here are some tips from sleep scientist Dr. Sara Mednick:
- Nap for 20 to 30 minutes and if possible nap in the early afternoon.
- Nap in a dark area and in a warm environment.
- Avoid chemicals such as caffeine and nicotine before a nap. Also, it is wise to avoid refined sugars and carbs.
- And finally, don’t forget to shut off your cell phone.