In 1997, much of Asia was experiencing an economic crisis, with currencies dropping below half their original value and governments on the brink of collapse. Within this turmoil was a man named Bhim Suwastoyo, an Indonesian financial journalist who worked tirelessly through the crisis as the days stretched into weeks. He became infamous for sleeping underneath a cupboard behind his desk, in order to be able to hear his office phone if it rang. Afterwards, Suwastoyo claimed that, even on his busiest days, a mere half-hour nap was all that he needed to replenish his energy, claiming that it was “like starting new in the morning.”
Our bodies are finely-tuned machines, and as such they require proper maintenance to function properly. The National Sleep Foundation recommends between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This is not always possible, unfortunately, and the resultant fatigue can have drastic effects in the workplace. Sleep deprivation impacts your work in a variety of negative ways, but it also makes it more difficult for you to determine how this lack of sleep is affecting you. In other words, we’re often too tired to realize it, and likely to experience a drop in productivity and quality of work. To that end, it is time to consider what many cultures outside the US regard as an essential performance enhancer, taking a power nap.
To successfully take a nap at your job, there are several steps you must follow. First and foremost, make sure to comply with any employer policies on the subject. It would be a shame having to put that newfound energy to work finding another job. If you’re a 9-5er, after lunch between 2-4pm may find you slow and sluggish – the perfect opportunity to recharge with a power nap! Make sure to find someplace quiet and comfy to take your nap so that you can sleep without interruption. Finally, limit your rest to no longer than 30 minutes. Any longer, and you take the risk of falling into a deeper sleep and waking up even more exhausted as a result. If done correctly, napping on the job can go from occupational faux pas to absolute professional necessity.