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Napping – Do’s and Don’ts

With the arrival of World Sleep Day on 16th March, our fatigue risk management experts at Clockwork Research say that napping done right is good for the brain and your work performance! But are you using the correct napping techniques?

Sleep Hygiene Infographic

While a short nap at work cannot reverse severe sleep debt, it can reduce sleepiness and improve performance. As well as the immediate benefits for alertness and performance, napping has long-term benefits too – people who nap at least twice a week have a 12% lower incidence of coronary heart disease.

If you have enough time in your day to grab some extra zzz’s, why not try one of these napping techniques…

Power nap

  • 20-30 minute nap
  • Boosts productivity by improving alertness, focus, ability to retain information, mood and job satisfaction, and speeds up long-term memory consolidation.

Long Nap

  • 90-minute nap
  • Should enable you to obtain a full sleep cycle, meaning you benefit from light, deep, and dreaming sleep, and will make it more likely that you will awake from light sleep, thus minimising the grogginess experienced on waking (sleep inertia).

Caff-nap

  • Drink 150mg of caffeine (approx. 2 coffees); set an alarm for 20 minutes and lie-down to nap.
  • Walk around for around 10 minutes after waking to dissipate any sleep inertia.
  • Washing your face and light exercise may also help you wake up fully.

Napping do’s

  • Nap during the deep night (0200-0600h) and the mid-afternoon (1300-1500hrs), when sleepiness is naturally elevated.
  • Try to nap in an environment that is cool, quiet, dark and comfortable, with lie-flat surfaces (it takes 50% longer to fall asleep when sitting upright).
  • Make sure you’re not disturbed, silence your phone and use a do not disturb sign.
  • If you are a driver, try to take a nap away from your vehicle (e.g. in a break area), but if this is not possible, lock the doors, and recline your seat as much as possible.
  • Leave time to recover from sleep inertia.
  • Keep it shorter than 30 minutes or as close to 90 minutes as possible to avoid excessive sleep inertia.

Napping don’ts

  • Nap within 3 hours of bedtime, as this may make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Clockwork Research delivers innovative and effective Fatigue Risk Management solutions for clients across various sectors of the aviation industry. If you have any enquiries about any of Clockwork’s services please contact info@clockworkresearch.com

See our Other Blogs for World Sleep Day

Tips for getting to Sleep

Sleep Hygiene – What is it and How to improve it