Sleep and work: do the two go together? It depends on who you ask. Your employer might be strongly against it, but science says otherwise. Traditionally, we associate the workplace with, well, hard work and exertion. It’s where we put in effort to impress and grow professionally; it’s fast-paced and requires our full attention at all times.
For these reasons, we typically don’t consider sleep an essential part of an 8-hour workday. While this makes sense, sleep — or power napping — can actually improve workplace performance. For example, finding just 15–20 minutes a day to get in some shuteye will actually help you perform better throughout the day. But where and when can you find the time for that small power nap?
Most companies aren’t open to the idea of providing in-office nap time, so it’s most likely something you’ll have to carve time out for throughout your day. In most cases, many of us feel exhausted after lunch. The exhilaration of working and then eating is a perfect recipe for a coma. Rather than fighting the urge to sleep, science says you should give in to it — but not for too long! A quick power nap is all you need to rejuvenate yourself.
The difference between a power nap and a full sleep cycle
It’s worth noting that there’s a big difference between napping and completing a full sleep cycle. Here’s what you need to know:
- Power Nap: A power nap is 10–20 minutes of sleep. Anything more and you risk feeling groggy.
- Full Sleep Cycle: A full sleep cycle is 90 minutes, and moves you through the five stages of sleep. However, a 30 minute nap will enter into the first stage of a sleep cycle, and will leave you feeling groggy before the benefits kick in.
So, what are the science-backed benefits exactly of catching 40 winks in the afternoon at work? Check out the Tommy John infographic below to find out.
What do you think of power napping at work? Let us know in the comments below.