Daylight Saving Time may have thrown you for a loop, but luckily there’s a day to help you recover: National Napping Day.
The unofficial holiday was created by a college professor and his wife in 1999 to highlight the benefits of getting some extra shuteye during the day to boost mood and performance. While naps are a common phenomenon among those under the age of 5, adults can relish in catching some extra z’s on the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time.
William Anthony, Ph.D., Boston University professor, and his wife, Camille, weren’t the first to spot the pluses of sleeping for short periods of time during the day. The National Sleep Foundation says short naps have been shown to improve mood, alertness and performance among a sleep-deprived population such as our own. The organization recommends a short snooze of 20 to 30 minutes in a restful environment. Not only will this combat drowsiness but it can give your mind a “mini vacation” before returning to work.
And don’t think that naps mean you’re lazy. Some of the greatest thinkers were well-seasoned nappers: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison to name a few.
For those of you looking for an ideal place to celebrate National Napping Day (or would like to make it a yearlong holiday) below are five sneaky ways to sleep at work without getting caught:
1. The Stealthy Screen Saver
If you work in a cubicle, privacy is an ongoing issue. Whether it’s a co-worker looking over your shoulder while you Facebook stalk your “blind” date, or you have learned to whisper during personal phone calls, taking a nap may seem out of the question. Don’t underestimate the power of appearances. Simply take a screenshot of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or another benign project you are working on. Set that image as your screensaver and you’re good to go. Lean back, get some shuteye, and if anyone walks by it looks like you’re hard at work.
2. Get A Room
The boardroom, conference room, a vacant corner office or if you’re desperate, the bathroom. All of these are ideal options since they have doors. Doors can be shut, lights can be turned off, and you can relish in getting some forty winks before five o’clock.
3. Catnap In The Car
If you take your car to work, you basically have a bed on standby in your garage. Whether you need to take some time for a “family emergency” in the middle of the day or you’re meeting a “friend” during your lunch hour – head to the car, recline the seat all the way so no passersby can see you snooze.
4. It’s All About The Position
While this tip can be taken in a variety of contexts, when it comes to naptime in semi-public places your stance will stand out if you’re not careful. Resting your chin on your hand (like “The Thinker”) will make you appear to be deep in thought. If someone strikes up a conversation with you, your delayed response will look like you were seriously contemplating their question. If you really want to appear Zen, put on some headphones. This can also add to your “contemplative” state.
5. Pretend To Pray
One can assume that if you have gotten this far in the tips, you aren’t one of the most ethical human beings. If that’s the case, this last suggestion could be the best one if used wisely. In an effort to hide in plain sight, place your head on your desk. Use your hands to cushion your head. Make sure you’re lying face down. If a co-worker interrupts your siesta, simply raise your head and say “amen.” Your colleague will be too surprised by your conviction to question your comatose state.