Sleep is essential for healthy, cognitive function. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain and body struggle to work at optimal levels, and that’s when your concentration and productivity starts to suffer.
Sleep deprivation affects many adults, in fact, one in three adults don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than seven hours per day can make it difficult for you to do your best at work and lead a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not able to sleep enough at night, taking naps can help.
Why Naps Are a Total Power Move
Napping may be seen as taboo, you might think that if you’re seen to be too tired or weak that it looks as if you are unable to keep up with the rest of the team. But the fact is, a nap can give you the much needed chance to recharge your batteries and actually be more productive at work. Rest is essential for productivity, and naps can give you the energy you need to power on through and get your work done well.
With a daytime nap, you can fill in the gaps you’ve missed during your nighttime sleep. If you’re not able to get seven hours of sleep at night, napping for an hour or even just 20 minutes in the daytime can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle what’s next, rather than continuing to feel sluggish and relying on caffeine or other crutches for energy to get you through the day.
A 20 to 60-minute nap can help your memory and learning functions, and napping for longer than 60 minutes could result in improved creativity, perception, and associative thinking. Any length of rest can help you with alertness and help clear the fog of tiredness that can accumulate throughout the day.
Mastering the Art of Productivity Naps
Most people aren’t lucky enough to have designated nap zones at work and, unsurprisingly, bosses typically frown upon sleeping at your desk (if you can comfortably sleep in an office environment, anyway). But it is possible to nap and recharge for increased productivity at work.
Take a look at these tips:
- Schedule a nap into your day – Plan ahead and determine a good time to take a nap. Often, the easiest time to nap is during your lunch break. If you have an hour for lunch, you can eat a quick meal and nap for the rest of your break time.
- Find or create a healthy sleep environment – You may not have access to a bed at work, but you can find a comfortable spot to sleep. Your car may be a good choice, offering privacy and a comfortable place to recline. But any quiet, unoccupied space can be a good place to sleep. Use earplugs and dim the lights, or use a sleep mask to block out the light.
- Strategically time your nap – A 20-minute power nap is typically best at work. This gives you minimal time away from work, while still offering the opportunity to reset and refresh quickly. A more extended nap may leave you feeling too groggy to get back to work right away.