If you’re feeling sleepy at work—and if your boss isn’t around or if it's your break time—go ahead and take a nap. According to a new study, a short nap may actually help you become more productive in the long run.
Researchers even tested four nap time spans (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes) against a no-nap control to see which would have the most positive effect on people. For those who were only given five minutes of snooze time, there didn’t seem to be any difference from the control. Those who were able to sleep for 10 minutes, however, showed immediate results, including improvements in sleep latency, subjective sleepiness and cognitive performance among others. These positive effects reportedly lasted for as long as 155 minutes--almost two and a half hours.
In the meantime, those who were allowed 20 minutes of nap time showed improvements as well, though they surfaced 35 minutes after waking up and lasted a shorter 125 minutes. Lastly, the subjects in the 30-minute group showed improvements lasting up to 155 minutes, although the results weren’t as successful as those of the 10-minute group, considering the bout of sleep inertia or grogginess that afflicted the participants upon waking up.
Out of all four nap time spans, it’s clear that employees should aim for a 10-minute nap. However, researchers caution that sleeping too late in the morning may mess up the body’s circadian rhythm. The best time to get those power naps in would be mid- to late morning or early afternoon. Now that you know how long you should nap for to get your buzz going, the only thing left for you to figure out is how to time it perfectly to keep your boss from finding out.
(Photo by graysky. via Flickr Creative Commons)