The Best Time To Take A Nap Is At Work, According To Science

If you've never really mastered the art of napping as an adult, a new study is here to help you out. The experts over at the National Sleep Foundation have just discovered the best time to take a nap — but you might have to get a little creative to pull it off.

According to researchers, taking a short power nap of 20 minutes between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. will leave you feeling rejuvenated, and make you more productive in the workplace. Sounds reasonable in theory, but there's one teeny problem. As you probably noticed right away, those times occur right smack in the middle of the work day — which, for most of us, means we'll be busy at the office, and not really in the best siesta-taking environment.

So how can you make it happen? Fortunately, there are some relatively simple ways to sneak a short power nap at work. Obviously, it's easiest if you have your own office — just close the door and have at it. But since private offices are becoming increasingly rare, there are some other tricks too. If you drive to work, you can always head down to the parking lot for 20 minutes and take a brief snooze in your car. Some offices also offer break rooms, changing rooms, or private phone rooms with chairs or couches, perfect for a quick nap. If you're really desperate, you can book some time in the smallest, least-frequented conference room, and nap there. Plus, there are tons of neat products designed to give you a good afternoon snooze. Invest in a Yogibo Max, a six-foot-long bean bag that's perfect for office napping. Or, check out this desk-to-bed convertible, which comes with a sleeping pod tucked underneath it for an impromptu nap. It's good to have options, isn't it?

Whatever way you choose to pull it off, make sure that you set an alarm so that you don't end up oversleeping. It's also important to evaluate your own workplace environment before attempting a nap. If your workplace frowns heavily on naps and you know you'll be in serious trouble if you get caught, it's probably best to avoid taking the risk at all.

In addition to finding the right way to snooze at work, there's also one other catch to the suggested power nap: it only works for people who don't typically have problems going to sleep every day. If you regularly toss and turn at night, this kind of nap will only leave you feeling groggier, not re-energized.

Whatever the case, we can only hope that this study encourages more companies to finally start offering some nap rooms and pods for their employees. Hey, we can dream, can't we?

Images: Aris Sánchez/Flickr; Giphy