IT Employment

All in favor of workday naps, say Aye!


The Better Sleep Council, through a stress and sleep survey, found that 65% of Americans are losing sleep due to stress. And a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that over 80% of American adults link inadequate sleep with impaired daytime performance. That's a sobering, though not surprising, set of statistics. How many of us have had those days when you just can't concentrate on the job or you feel like you're going to fall face down into your keyboard?

A desire for restful sleep has driven many people to try varied relaxation solutions like meditation, yoga, and aromatherapy. That's all fine and good if it works for you, but I think I have found a better, less costly solution. I am advocating workday naps. 
 
Historically, in the US, it has been frowned upon to curl up on your desk and take a little siesta in the middle of the workday. I think that's unfair, and here's why: For the first four or five years of our lives, naps are drilled into us like the need for food and water. It's ironic, isn't it? You're probably at your energy peak at age four--running around playing hide and seek, twirling on the jungle gym, or, in the case of my son, giving the dog a peanut butter bath--when all of a sudden, you're plunked down in your bed, mid-spazz, and told to take a nap. What a buzz killer!
 
Then, after you've grown up, when you need rest the most, it's just taken away. When you're an adult, with responsibilities that could most often affect others (Help Desk technician, computer programmer, weird blog writer), people don't appreciate it if you curl up under your cubicle and cop some Z's. And that's just not fair.
 
 So let's band together and advocate for a designated work naptime. Just keep in mind these three rules:
     1.  No teddy bears, no blankies, and no other sleep accoutrements that could bring your sanity into question.
     2.  No sleepwear. The last thing anyone wants to see is you curled up in your footed Batman pajamas.
     3. No snoring, and no Sleep Apnea machines. (Sorry for the Catch-22, but we need the quiet.) 

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

44 comments
neharaj123
neharaj123

This really helps me to find the answers to my question. Hoping that you will continue posting an article having a useful information. Thanks a lot!

Mr.Newman
Mr.Newman

During the Sovet time in some industiries napping has been practiced and the results was good. After the lunch worker has been aloud to nap 30 mins not more.... So may be we should returnt to that practice

seanferd
seanferd

nap has you! (Forgive me, for I could not resist.)

RayJeff
RayJeff

I didn't really appreciate sleep & rest in general and naps specifically until did some recent contract at a data center for about a year. I worked about 14 hours a day on rotating shifts. But the work was at night. I tell ya, it killed me literally trying to stay awake past 1:30 AM. So on my lunch break, I'd either nap for 30 minutes or when I was really tired, lunch was canceled and I slept the whole hour.

mike_flood
mike_flood

What? Sorry I dozed off there for a minute. . .

frostbite
frostbite

just had a big dose of carbo during lun.....zzzzzzz

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

I usually wake up crankier than when I started. But if it works for you then go for it! If I did take naps rule 1 would be out the window. Why not have a teddy bear? My boss actually carries one around.

jhogue
jhogue

An artist (forgot who) used a key and a bowl to control his nap. As he was about to enter the "deep" sleep phase, he could not hang on to they, which dropped in a bowl, making enough noise to end the nap. A short period of "light" sleep - *when* I really need it (problem I just cannot solve and there is no idea on how to fix it) - does wounder to squelch the feeling of helpnessless and allows me to come back productive. It is a good way to stop fixating endlessly on a problem. Now, mind you, it would require an intelligent manager to accept this. If you're stuck in a "management by terror" structure, then forget it.

pradnya.deshmukh
pradnya.deshmukh

I do believe for better productivity everybody should practicize the way they feel relax and work again with energy. Nap is best way to regain your energy and alertness at work.

michael.torrey
michael.torrey

I've discovered that 5 minutes of napping prevents an hour or more of nodding at my computer. Whoever decided that a mid-day nap was bad for business was a nitwit.

dshaffer
dshaffer

I could use one right now....zzzzzzzzzz

domiller0550
domiller0550

Sorry, my head hit the keyboard when I went to sleep.

gregory.moultrie
gregory.moultrie

At some point in the day, It's considerable refreshing to unload the stress. It lends itself to being more productive.

Stryker08
Stryker08

While I'm only a college student doing an internship, I have found that I perform better on a good nights rest then napping during the day. I find that I am groggy and have problems falling asleep at night if I nap frequently. I definitely feel that getting more sleep is something our nation should spend more time on as I can't quote it but I remember reading something that people will die from not getting enough sleep faster then they will from not getting enough food.

KarakSindru
KarakSindru

In high school English class, we were given the assignment to parody a famous speech or essay. I chose Patrick Henry's Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death speech, pleading for the high school administration to give us nap time or death.

ITLifecycler
ITLifecycler

Quality sleep for better work and workplaces makes sense to me.

PoconoChuck
PoconoChuck

Depending on my work load, I will nap during lunch 3-4x each week. My commute is 2 hours each way, and with two kids on top of it all, I get by on about 5 hours of sleep at night. Sometimes, a 30-60 minute recline in my car is all I need to get through the day. Now if I can only figure out how to do with even less sleep.... it is a waste of time in my mind.

ken_ballard
ken_ballard

There've been numerous times I'd thought about taking a nap during lunch. I've also thought about asking my boss if I could take an extra half-hour for lunch strictly for that purpose. I used to take short naps between classes in college, and let me tell you it works wonders. Definitely helped with my concentration during my classes.

bitai_kalman
bitai_kalman

It takes an entire hour and two coffees to shape my brain in a working condition after a sleep so an other loosed hour after a nap. I cant sleep one hour, or a half an hour, only in special conditions like in trains etc. , for me a sleep it takes at least 2.5-3 hours, otherwise is useles... The one hour sleep it gives you a refreshing sentiment only for a short period of time...and , dont ask me where I read it :( , not offering the time for the body to rest for good.

Becca Alice
Becca Alice

A one hour nap doesn't help - that gives your brain time to start the cyle into REM sleep but not to complete it. A 20 minute nap during the day is optimal because it allows a break for your mind but does not begin the interrupted cycle. If you can't sleep for the short nap, it's best to wait until you can get 4 hours at one shot so that you can complete REM. Try a shorter one and you may be surprised. ^_^ B

dean
dean

We have a "secret" digital image folder on IT's own server of practically everyone in IT engaged in a power nap--not at the same time, of course. Some of us are really good at it so we have multiple pics. (Maybe there's consulting potential in this...I'll sleep on it)

Inkling
Inkling

Funny story from combat training in the Marine Corps: We were in the field for a week. When I say "in the field" I mean, we were playing war games in the woods, sleeping in holes. It rained a lot that week and we were all exhausted. Our games got cut short because the Command SgtMaj was retiring and they needed us to be in the ceremony. We humped the 15 miles or so back to the barracks, ate, showered and went to bed. The next day we got up early, exercised and spent the next 10 hours or so practicing for the ceremony. The next day, in full combat gear, we stood in 90 degree heat and marched in the ceremony. There were periods where we stood for an hour at a time and there were periods when we performed rifle manual. My buddies told me after the ceremony that, although I did not miss a single movement in the rifle manual, I was snoring loudly for nearly the entire ceremony.

Bob Oso
Bob Oso

That put a smile on my face. Semper Fi.

sa0725
sa0725

Hey, I'm all for it. It sure makes for a more productive (and happy) employee.

DanLM
DanLM

I need a nap. Actually, I use to know people that would go to their car at lunch time and snooze out. lol, that or they had a bottle stashed. Think about it... How many all nighters have we pulled because of a must push project. 14/16 hour day... Back in 4 hours latter. Or, on call. In at 1am till 4am. Back in for your normal shift at 8. Nap's should be part of our contract and overtime. dan

marlies_rohner
marlies_rohner

Companies in Europe like IBM, Price Waterhouse, Dow Chemical, Accenture, etc have Quiet Rooms decked out with futons and dim light where employees are encouraged to go to rest. It's normal (even in northern countries) Siesta has even been a tradition in societies for centuries: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico.... etc Wake up and take an example from other countries!

sleepin'dawg
sleepin'dawg

So somebody grabs a bit of shuteye over lunchtime?? So what?? It's his time and he is free to do with it as he wishes. Just don't let me catch him doing it during work hours or his ass is grass. Why force people to go to their cars??? Why can't he just put his head down at his desk?? It's not harming anyone and if it makes him more efficient during work time, then I'm all for it. On a personal level, naps don't work for me but that's me and I recognize it might be different for others. [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

pcphil
pcphil

After work I race home and hit the bed since sleeping in a government building is not recommended. My eyes open up exactly 15 minutes after that and I am good for the rest of the evening. Such a great way to recharge!

blackrex87
blackrex87

Napping clears up my mind and helps me better concentrate on tasks. So I give my enthusiastic Aye!

russdwright
russdwright

Actually, I use to know people that would go to their car at lunch time and snooze out. I know a couple of people here at my current job that do that now. I may take that into consideration myself, seeing how I have an hour lunch and use only half of it to actually eat :)

willywarmer
willywarmer

I like doing my job properly. Im not lazy.All though it does sound good sometimes

russdwright
russdwright

You do it during work time, rather during your lunch hour (if you don't have a business lunch or something like that going on)

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

I have a van that is handy for just this, tilt back the seat, grab a snooze.. Studies show you perform better, that or I'm turning into old geezer who needs a nap in the afternoon! Something like a Sportsmobile or VW camper van would be ideal for lunchtime snooze. At one architect I worked for, I parked my buggy van at corner of their lot, which faced a park. One day cops came and questioned me. Wanted to search my van!? I said no of course, let them know I worked in the industrial park I was parked in. Turns out someone at place I worked had narced on me and called police thinking some homeless person just happened to come everyday and park by their biz.. !

Tig2
Tig2

I personally support corporate nap-time. As I get older, I NEED corporate nap-time. Unfortunately, no one asks my (obviously superior!) opinion about these things...

dspeacock
dspeacock

It would interfere with the naps I already take >:D

rkorb
rkorb

half of all workers fall asleep after lunch but have master the art of appearing to be in intense concentration... totally focused on their computer screens... about 2 inches away.

Inkling
Inkling

I have a hard enough time shutting my brain off to go to sleep at night without throwing a nap into the mix.

pazmanpro
pazmanpro

Many people are so stressed out that they are unable to sleep. I think we need to find a way to destress more than anything. I used to find it hard to fall asleep as well, thinking about all that I have to do in the office the next day, of all the things that I was unable to accomplish this day, studies to do, etc, etc. It took some time to get over all that, and still sometimes it takes a toll on you. Naps are good since if you are tired you are not as productive (I think the Spanish people had the idea correct with the siesta, unfortunately more and more of them are not doing that anymore). However, we should look at the entire thing holistically and really look at improving our entire lifestyle.

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