Nap Strategies

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What's so wrong with napping at work? Today we kick off an interactive project to see if our listener's can get a bit more sleep during the day. We also discuss the benefits of napping with Janet Rhew of Metronaps and Camille Anthony of The Napping Company.

Group Project: When Do You Make the Time To Nap? The Brian Lehrer show wants you to get more sleep! Over the next week or so, experiment with different strategies to sneak in that extra bit of rest during the day. Do you take a longer lunch? Ask your boss for permission? Hide under your desk? Use the comments section below to report your findings!

Note: Please use the space below to report research results only. Thanks!

Comments [118]

Wendeeda from Dallas

Since becoming pregnant, I CAN'T get enough sleep at night. I'm home by 6:30 and in the bed by 9 and sleep by 9:30, then back up at 6:00 am.

So I've been desperately needing naps. Once I get tired I lose focus and can't do my work properly. That's when I start zoning, surfing the net, and grabbing the phone before the receptionist so I can at least do SOMETHING productive.

Sometimes if I'm sleepy enough to pull it off. I'll take a nap in a restroom cubicle and it helps. But that's such an uncomfortable spot I'm rarely able to fall asleep.

Jan. 23 2009 02:23 PM
skip from Atlanta

I'm on the same level with #97 - sometimes I just have to take a nap in the car. It hits me at 2:20 PM every workday - I can set my watch by it. I'm afraid I need 30 minutes, though. But it does keep me productive until nightfall. I think Red Bull was invented for people like me.

Apr. 15 2008 05:31 PM
Henry94 from Ireland

Well, as a bus driver........

Apr. 15 2008 11:02 AM
Bob Engelhardt from Macdougal Street

hope you've not proposed nap strategies to children...KID-NAPPING is still a felony. A great name for the thing you can nap on: NAP-SACK

Apr. 11 2008 07:14 PM
Athena from Manhattan

We never got the Sarah Lawrence student's nap strategy, did we?

Mine, while at SLC, was to take an hour long nap late in the afternoon (usually while listening to NPR), then get dinner, then study until like midnight or one. Not that exotic, but a good routine.

I think I avoided early morning classes my first year, but at some point got sucked in to Nancy Baker's 8:30 seminars.

Also, was anyone else amused by the Bronxville cop hassling the caller about j-walking?

Apr. 11 2008 11:04 AM
Owen from Rochester

OK, I already posted, but I forgot to give my specific strategy: I keep a large beach towel folded under my desk, which serves as blanket, pillow, and sleep-mask all at once.

Apr. 10 2008 01:29 PM
Charles Karmiol from Manhattan UES

When I was in the Army, I fell asleep while marching. This worked fine until the group marched around a curve in the road. I just kept marching straight into a field. I woke up to the sound of my sergeant screaming at me.

Apr. 10 2008 12:01 PM
John from NYC

I have been able to train myself to actually close one eye (my left eye) and have my right eye open and go to sleep. All you have to do is cock your head so that the person that you're trying to hide from can only see your open eye. Works very well!

Apr. 10 2008 11:59 AM
Rick from Middletown from Middletown, NY


Does sleeping while driving count as a legitimate nap strategy?

I unintentionally do this all the time, and consider this so much more riskier than drinving while intoxicated...

One thing I notice is after catching myself dozing off while driving..after a while I actually feel refreshed!

Be well

Apr. 10 2008 11:58 AM

When I was responsible for organizing speaking engagements in Japan, I routinely videoed the speakers and the audience. I had to develop a particular strategy when videoing the audience. The first time I was filming, I noticed through the video camera that literally every man in the Japanese audience was sitting up ramrod straight, head straight on to the speaker, and sound asleep! From that time forward, I always had to video my Japanese audiences from the back of the audience!

Apr. 10 2008 11:56 AM
Melissa from New Brunswick, NJ

When I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, I was tired all the time and actually took a few naps underneath my desk. My desk faces out so when people came looking for me, it just looked like I was away from my desk. I figured it was 'good for the baby'. Maybe?!

Apr. 10 2008 11:54 AM
eliza from F train

TRAIN NAPPING! i am a dedicated napper. *always* fell asleep on the train or bus during my commute, and always woke up just before my stop! When I ride the same train every single day and get off at the same stop every single time, I think my body starts to recognize the rhythm of the subway ride and automatically wakes me up when I'm almost home. Only once in 11 years have I ever slept through my stop, a day when i was deeply exhausted and woke up 3 stops later, at Euclid Ave on the A train, and just walked home from there.

Apr. 10 2008 11:53 AM
Rory from New York, NY

While I don't work at the Museum of Modern Art, I did take a FANTASTIC nap there last week on the very generously size cushy seats that they have in the big atrium. As long as you don't put your feet on the furniture, the guards don't mind. I felt fantastic when I left there.

Apr. 10 2008 11:49 AM
Jan from Upper West Side

I used to go to the ladies room & lean my head on the roll of TP for a few minutes. If I were really exhausted, I'd doze a bit. If the height of the TP roll was uncomfortable, I'd just flop forward with head between knees & doze off for a few minutes. Shows how desperate I was for the snooze.

Apr. 10 2008 12:32 AM
Howard Leonard

Ogden Nash said it best, lin "Catnaps are too good for cats", the first two stanzas of which are:

Oh, early every afternoon
I like a temporary swoon.
I do not overeat at luncheon,
I do not broach the bowl or puncheon,
Yet the hour from two to three
Is always sleepy-time to me.

Bolt upright at my desk I sit,
My elbows digging into it,
My chin into my hands doth fit,
My careful fingers screen my eyes,
And all my work before me lies,
Which leads inquisitive passer-bys
Who glance my way and see me nogt
To think me wide awake, if odd.

(The full poem can be found in his book "I'm a stranger here myself"; the poems last two lines are a particular favorite of mine.


Apr. 09 2008 05:30 PM
Yiorgos from Astoria

I nap after lunch for about 20 minutes. My back faces the cubicle entrance so I just put my hand lightly on the mouse and close my eyes. it looks like im working. It has taken a few years of practice to prevent my head from falling over and giving me whiplash every time i go into a deeper sleep but i think i have mastered that part. it's not the best sleep in the world but it makes me feel rested.

Apr. 09 2008 11:26 AM

I love naps! I think some people aren't good at napping, they feel groggy after a nap. But I always feel refreshed and improved after a 20-30 minute nap at mid-day. I've often napped in Washington Square Park during lunch breaks from work; I find a shady spot under a tree and put my purse under my head for a pillow (and so it won't get stolen while i'm asleep!). What a blessing to be able to rest and refresh, and come back to work clear-headed and rejuvenated. Years ago, I worked in a factory and I would sometimes sneak up to the roof for a nap on my lunch break. It wasn't always too comfortable, but better than nothing. I've never had success with the bathroom-cubicle "nap," i can never drift off and it always just makes me feel miserable and desperate. One of my jobs, at a small creative agency, had two couches in the office, which were freely and publicly used for mid-day naps. Every workplace should accommodate quick naps for those who work better after napping!
I got so sick of working 9-to-7 every day without a nap, feeling drained and uncomfortable in offices, I quit to do freelance work from home. Now I take a nap if I need it, usually only one or two days a week, after lunchtime.

Apr. 09 2008 10:44 AM
Catherine from Long Island

I worked for a decade on the emergency team also covering the emergency room at a suburban hospital. Fortunately I was able to drive to my job and worked evenings so I didn't have to park far from the building. If I had a particularly draining shift and an opportunity to take a break, I would go to my car with a little portable alarm clock and my pager. A 20-30 min nap was a GREAT way of recharging and continuing the shift with an outlook that was shifted positive. I felt as I imagined one who meditated might feel after a good meditation.

Apr. 09 2008 10:37 AM
LFC from Midtown

I've never taken a nap at work before. I need one so bad in most days so I'm planning to do it during lunch hour by going to a nearby store and nap in one of their fitting rooms.

Apr. 09 2008 10:32 AM
James from brooklyn

Bathroom napping. Only option.
Downside is that it looks like I'm doing a really long #2.

Apr. 09 2008 09:58 AM
Conrad from West Village

I love napping, in fact I just woke up from a nap. I am in college and my day usually involves napping, sometimes in the library, except when I have to go to my internship in midtown. The project that I intern on relates to China (see #49) and the Chinese interns all nap after they have lunch. I'm not sure if my boss does, though. I feel too self-conscious about it so I have yet to do it, but I am always so tired!! I will give it a go this week though, emboldened by this radio program. Thanks nappers of the world!

Apr. 08 2008 11:47 AM
RJ from NJ

i spend a lot of time driving to my work place. sometimes immediately after lunch i sneak into my car, while still parked in either the office lot, or in the parking lot of subway/dunkin donuts, lock my car from inside, switch off the engine, pull back the seat as far back as possible(for extra leg space) and push the back rest all the way down. i put a timer on my cell phone for exactly 20 minutes. this way i can get into a deep REM with out worrying about time. i wake up rejuvenated and ready to work for another 5 hrs non-stop.

Apr. 08 2008 09:16 AM
M. from All over the TriState area

My job currently entails driving for a good portion of my day. Because of the inherent danger of becoming sleepy behind the wheel, on some days I MUST have a nap. If I'm stuck in traffic, have a long distance to drive, or am just too tired to keep my eyes open, I will find a spot to pull over and park my car (legally!) and take a 10-20 minute nap. I find it absolutely refreshing and I'm able to tackle my day with new fervor and focus.

Apr. 07 2008 01:12 PM
Edward from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

I don't have a nap strategy to share, but I do have a relevant story about napping at work.

For about five years I worked for a TV production company, first as a production assistant and then eventually as an editor. This past august, while still editing for the company, I was violently attacked outside my building here in Clinton Hill.

About a month later I had to take a month off from work due to post traumatic stress disorder and was heavily medicated.

After three or so weeks of being back at work I'd gotten my show back on schedule, and was getting great reviews. Unfortunately I fell asleep twice on the job for brief periods due to the medication I was on. Since my edit suite had a glass door it was impossible to conceal, and the day after turning in a show two weeks ahead of schedule to rave reviews from my boss, she pulled me into her office and threatened to fire me for falling asleep, suggesting that I may want to adjust my medication. Since this was a big shock I suffered multiple panic attacks that day as a result, and was cornered by my boss and under intense pressure, left my job.

The real reasons to push me out were more complicated: the show was grossly over budget and I was the highest paid editor. The moral of the story is: be careful when napping at work even if you have a good excuse!

Apr. 07 2008 01:10 PM
Michael Szuflita (Pronounced 'Chief Lita' from Park Slope Brooklyn

After commuting from Park Slope to Columbus Circle everyday for 11 years, I am now a 3 minute bike ride from work. Before I would crave a mid-day nap, sleeping everywhere from the lawn of Central Park to surrepitiously in the clock tower in the Arsenal Building by the Zoo. Now, I bike home, am in bed within 10 minutes and have trained my self to sleep almost immediatelly, and then wake up by my watch alarm all refreshed, 40 minutes later . I'm a big advocate of The American Siesta and wished employers made it easier to sneak 40 winks.

Apr. 07 2008 01:08 PM
Judy from Centerport, NY

My father was a theoretical physicist and worked at Argonne National Lab in the 1950's and 60's. I would sometimes accompany him to work as a small child and noted that he had two desks in his office: one with paper and pencils for working and the other with a sleeping bag on it, for napping. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when as an adult I discovered that not all offices are so equipped!

Apr. 07 2008 12:03 PM
(Another) Greg from Bushwick

I've had stressful advertising jobs for over 5 years. I need a nap every day after lunch.

In the summer I go to Central Park. In the winter, I take a long subway ride, hopefully getting the corner seat where I can put my feet up. I know some people think this is dangerous, but I don't worry about it. It's not deep sleep -- it's almost a state between sleep and meditation -- so I remain aware of my surroundings.

American business culture needs to embrace people's need for a quick nap sometime during the workday. It improves productivity.

Apr. 07 2008 12:01 PM
Greg from Greenpoint

I majored in Philosophy, but never used it directly. I went on to a graduate degree in French which I taught for 10 yrs, then studied Art. I now own a decorative painting and wood finishing business.

Apr. 07 2008 11:21 AM
Greg from Greenpoint

I majored in Philosophy, but never used it directly, although it served as a great background. I went on to a graduate degree in French which I taught for 10 yrs, then studied Art, and now own a decorative painting and wood finishing business.

Apr. 07 2008 11:18 AM
Con Grondahl from Pelham, NY

We are an eight person office and often work late. Because many of us would run out of gas in the afternoon, we built a nap compartment, sort of a Pullman berth, in a quiet corner of the office. Equipped with a decent matress, pillow, light blanket, and individual sheets, it has a curtain that can be drawn. We all use it at one time or another.

Apr. 07 2008 10:43 AM

caring for little people ages 0-3 enables me to incoorporate this precious "refueling time" for my brain, mind, spirit and body to regenerate my present being, and being present.

Apr. 06 2008 10:43 AM
willy from brooklyn

I prefer a fiesta to a siesta.

napping makes me feel terrible. Nothing like having morning breath at 3pm...

Apr. 05 2008 02:34 PM
Mercedes Batista from Manhattan

I wish The Metropolitan Museum of Art has "nap areas" or "resting areas." I have been thinking of writing to them with this suggestion.

Apr. 05 2008 06:23 AM
Owen from Rochester

I work at a small law office where we see all our clients in their homes, rather than have them come into the office. Thus, no one minds if I disappear under my desk for 20 minutes once in a while (and I don't count it as time worked).

I don't understand who these napper-haters are. Human beings have circadian rhythms, people! How much I sleep at night has ZERO effect on whether I feel sleepy around 3 PM the next day--this is just when my body gets tired. I'm sure napping makes many people more productive.

Apr. 04 2008 02:01 PM
Gustavo Gomez from New York, NY

After listening to the podcast, I allowed one of my workers who was not feeling well to take a 20 minute nap to see if he felt better instead of sending him home. He woke up after 20 minutes on his own and finished the day fine. The 20 minute nap actually increased productivity.

Apr. 04 2008 12:49 PM
Bob from New Haven CT

A couple of points:
If I can get it, 20 minutes followed by a cup of coffee really does the trick. Perhaps Metro-Nap type operations could be profitable additions to the Starbucks-like coffee shop industry.
Drivers (of both cars and truck) in need of safe nap opportunities are a big safety issue.
Having a nap policy / allowance at a business is a bit like a vacation policy. For it to be useful and add to productivity, people must use it and not just take the time to shop, surf the net and come back to their desks tired and un-productive.

Apr. 04 2008 11:46 AM
jill from NYC

I attend a music school in the city and the little practice rooms we have are perfect to nap in. There are little windows on the door so I put a scarf over the window to show someone is inside, turn the lights out and rest. :) Relaxation is all a part of practicing...

Apr. 04 2008 11:02 AM
anonymous (for this post only) from upper west side

I work in a cube in a corporate environment & take grad school classes in the evening. I am often sleep deprived & since I've started grad school, I've begun sneaking naps at work. I usually need one about once a week. I go into an unoccupied office (an office near my cube was recently vacated & the position hasn't been filled yet), lock the door and fall asleep on the floor. It usually takes me about 5 minutes to fall asleep, and I've been napping for 20-30 minutes. I awake very refreshed, although sometimes I have carpet marks on my face. I'm too chicken to start keeping a pillow in there though!

Apr. 03 2008 04:48 PM
oatmeal from 10601

Nappers, BEWARE! There was a fellow on the job (construction) who thoroughly enjoyed his noon-time nap, usually in a pipe chase- a dead space behind a finished wall. One piece of sheetrock + two mischievious carpenters + ten minutes = entombed pipefitter. All was quiet when we left at 3:30. The wall was busted open the following morning and we never saw him again. When you nap, you are vulnerable. I once awoke on a bus with my shoelaces tied. You never know who's around to take advantage.

Apr. 03 2008 03:53 PM

Napping is great but TM is better. The rest is deeper than sleep but you're restfully alert and aware of all that is going around you while at rest. So you can come out quickly if you hear an interruption coming.

Apr. 03 2008 01:57 PM
James from New York

Napping is fun

Apr. 03 2008 01:13 PM
Connie Smith from Waccabuc (Westchester County)

Ever since I went to France and Italy for the first time (in the "last century"), I have admired and emulated (when not at work) the civilized life style over there. It permitted, in fact, encouraged a leisurely lunch hour with a glass of wine and a rest after lunch. Alas, no employer of mine has ever shared my view on the matter. Now, that I am retired, I can nap whenever I choose. The irony is that I find I am so busy that I don't have the time to take a nap.

Apr. 03 2008 11:52 AM
David from NYC

#74--you need to get the nurses' union in your hospital. My wife is also a nurse, at a hospital in The Bx, and a break--with naps--is part of the contract.

Apr. 03 2008 11:46 AM
donna from manhattan

for those that say we need to nap because we're too busy screwing around and making bad life choices, i say get over yourself, we're not all fortunate enough to have interesting day jobs and a quiet home life, we are stressed and frustrated and could benefit from any peaceful alone time to rest the mind and body. I would absolutely take a 20 minute nap at work if it was socially acceptable, even if it meant just resting my head on my desk in my cubicle where anyone walking by could see me.

Apr. 03 2008 11:43 AM
Ken from Soho

I once took an afternoon nap, and woke up sleepier than before the nap. I've never tried to nap again.

Apr. 03 2008 11:43 AM
Derek Tutschulte from Brooklyn

Whoops, meant to say "Polyphasic" sleeping. The science says that you only need 20-30 minutes sleep every four hours and six times a day to remain productive. pretty cool stuff.

Apr. 03 2008 11:37 AM
Eden from City Island (Bronx, NY)

I am an RN at a large NYC hospital. While 9 months pregnant and working 12.5 hour shifts, I was woken on my UNPAID lunch break by my nurse manager. She said that the hospital had implemented a automatic termination of employees caught napping, even on their lunch break. That was my 1 time warming. Although I still work there, I don't think I'll ever forgive her for her cruelty!

Apr. 03 2008 11:37 AM
paul from nyc

listening to a program about naps does it for me.

Apr. 03 2008 11:31 AM
s from manhattan

i am about the dreaded toilet nap. it is grimy and uncomfortable even in the fancy building i work in but when that 4 o'clock lull hits i must give in.

Apr. 03 2008 11:31 AM
Abigail from Manhatthan

I use to nap at my first job almost every day. Not only did I sit at a cubicle, but I was working at a well-respected major Wall street bank. I would hide under my desk, on the floor, and pull the chair in tight, so no one could see me. Worked very well. Much better than when I sat at my desk. I think I got caught a few times while doing that one.

The problem with this job was I had to be in at 7am (too early for me), and it bored me to no end.

After leaving for a different better career, about ten years ago, I've worked much harder, but haven't taken a nap since.

Apr. 03 2008 11:31 AM
James from New York

The guest is ALL wrong. Totally. If u are sleepy during the day so that u need to consider 'naps', u'r task is NOT to figure out how to work naps into u'r life, u'r task is to figure out why u'r sleepy during the day & how to adjust u'r nighttime sleep habits to stop being sleepy during the day. It's like being obese & trying to figure out how to avoid the downsides of being obese without considering how to not be obese.

Apr. 03 2008 11:31 AM
Zak from Brooklyn, NY

I work in the libraries at Columbia...and they are very popular nap spots. From around 11am to 3PM everyday, there's someone napping on the couch outside my office. When I need a lunch time snooze, however, I think it's a bit tacky to be visibly sleeping in the library where I work. Not to mention, the patrons and my staff would probably not hesitate to wake me up to ask something from I wander to another library on campus.

Apr. 03 2008 11:30 AM
Niki from brooklyn

Can anyone help convince the police that napping is OK? I try on the benches in front of the lincoln center - I have auto-immune illness and live in Brooklyn, so when I have a day in the city I get exhausted.

but the police always come and get me. I can't get comfortable any way but laying down, so I've developed a strategy of looking like I'm doing yoga - if I make it look like a stretch and move when i sense i'm being watched I can at leat reast my back. but I need 20 minutes of being undisturbed!

Apr. 03 2008 11:30 AM
Pastor Branwen Cook from Rahway NJ

Heard this joke that also works: the secretary walks into the pastor's office and the pastor, who's had his/her head on the desk napping, sits up straight and says, "Amen."
What works even better is to institute a meditation group, something like the Transcendental Meditation technique known in church circles as Centering Prayer. I've had a whole group basically napping sitting up for 20 minutes. No guilt and the gentle focus on a mantra or word really helps to make it happen!

Apr. 03 2008 11:29 AM
Caroline from Hoboken, NJ

While I was pregnant and working for a large cosmetics corporation (Limited Brands) I was incredibly fatigued and could hardly keep my eyes open for the first 6 months. I would walk to a nearby spa, Haven, to get pedicures and snooze in the pedicure chair. Obviously, this got expensive fast ($38 bucks a pop) but was worth keeping my large salary. Napping, even while pregnant, was never an option. In major European cities (Milan, Geneva, Paris) the lunch closing still allows for a siesta.

Apr. 03 2008 11:28 AM
Mary from NYC

James what if you're up half the night with a newborn baby or sick child? What if your life doesn't leave time for exercise? Some people need a nap strategy because circumstances call for it. Get off your high horse already.

Apr. 03 2008 11:28 AM
nancy from montclair

I nap in my stylist's chair when she is highlighting my hair. It can be a long process.... too much guilt otherwise to say I am napping. Tsk tsk

Apr. 03 2008 11:28 AM
Reidar Bornholdt from Manhattan

My father was a ship's captain. I sailed with him
from time to time. When the weather was bad (e.g. thick fog in heavily traffic) he would stay on the bridge until the situation resolved. One morning I came up to the bridge and found him standing, holding on to the rail, fast asleep. His first mate assured me that he could nap like this, even in heavy seas.

Apr. 03 2008 11:27 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

I used to nap all the time when I was a stage manager. You wouldn't beleive the places people can nap inside a theatre. I once fell dead asleep in a cat walk, and woke up to find a show starting on the stage below me. There's nothing like a stage light in your face to wake you up. I quietly snuck off the catwalk and slipped out of the theatre.

Now that I work in cubicle world, no naps. I'm lucky if I get a lunch break....although thanks to this segment, I'm eyeing my yoga mat and the under desk areas....

Apr. 03 2008 11:27 AM
James from New York

It's unbelievable - people are just accepting that being sleep-deprived is simply to be accepted as something imposed upon them by modern life or whatever, and so some kind of nap-strategy is called for. Make better life choices. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your life. Get more sleep at night. Eat better. Exercise. Learn how to live wisely.

Apr. 03 2008 11:26 AM
Blair from Minneapolis

3 hours in the bubblewrap is not creative napping, it's slacking. Your guests should call him on it; nap abuse is why employers don't take naps seriously.

Apr. 03 2008 11:26 AM
Derek Tutschulte from Brooklyn

familia with Polyphasis sleep?

Apr. 03 2008 11:26 AM
Joan from Williamsburg

I used to work at the main branch of the NY Public Library (5th Ave. and 42nd St.). They built a "quiet room" for staff connected to the lounge. It had soft, womb-like chairs and a strict silence policy. It was FANTASTIC for a lunch-time nap. I miss it terribly!

Apr. 03 2008 11:25 AM
Annie from Manhattan

I work in a hospital and medical school. In the medical library there are reclining chairs that resemble the ones you see in airline business class ads. I've napped there, and seen many fellow nappers-- medical students, nurses, doctors in their scrubs.

Apr. 03 2008 11:25 AM
Robert from NYC

When I worked at Ford it was quite a liberal place and napping would not be "punished". Most folks ran to the auditorium and nurse's office to nap. But that was 20 years ago.

Apr. 03 2008 11:25 AM
Kim from Manhattan

I eat a full breakfast in the morning, delay my lunch until 1:00 or 1:30 and feel this has helped me stay awake and alert all day. If I still need a nap, I take a short break and go outside for a walk.

Apr. 03 2008 11:25 AM
ben from Manhattan

Check out this sweet nap-pod at Google. This things need to become a staple for every office.

Apr. 03 2008 11:25 AM
Caroline from Jersey City, NJ

The "preparatory nap" or "pre-emptive nap" is what club-goers call the "disco nap." You can't be too pooped to party!

Apr. 03 2008 11:24 AM
Ben from Manhattan

Don't forget the Disco Nap!!!

Long day, you know you're going out later, so you got to nap before you go out for a night. This seems cooler, somehow, than a nap without a funny nickname.

Apr. 03 2008 11:24 AM
Graffiti from Mahattan

In China, most people nap after lunch. People just put their heads on arms folded on top of their desk for 20 minutes.

Apr. 03 2008 11:24 AM
a from new york

i need a nap now.

Apr. 03 2008 11:23 AM
anonymous from Bklyn

Sometimes I've been so tired or lulled by the atmosphere of a dark, warm room with soothing music that I've fallen asleep while still performing my job as a massage therapist.

Apr. 03 2008 11:23 AM
Massimo from Manhattan

I ride the train everyday at lunch time, to Coney Island, nap on the train & have a hot dog at Nathans.

Apr. 03 2008 11:23 AM
Nick from Austin

I found out recently that G.W. Bush while he was governor had both nap time and solitaire time built in to his schedule.

Apr. 03 2008 11:23 AM
Mary from NYC

JFK took a nap every day with Jackie....

Apr. 03 2008 11:22 AM
Peter from New York

My father was an apprentice in a carpenter's workshop in the 50s. Coffins were a large part of their business. My father would regularly sneak off to the upstairs showroom and take a nap in a coffin.

Apr. 03 2008 11:22 AM
Jack Mackerel from Brooklyn

On the Wire on HBO, the police officers in the Homicide Dept. would cut the tie just below the knot of any officers that fell asleep at their desk. They'd then parade the sacrificed "nap tie" over to a cork board to add to the "nap tie" collection.

Apr. 03 2008 11:22 AM
josh from nyc

when i worked at nordstroms, i would go to the bathroom and just sit on the toilet and get a 20 minute nap

what!? standing for 8 hours in uncomfortable shoes is PAINFUL!

Apr. 03 2008 11:21 AM
Yuko from Brooklyn

Japanese commuters have invented all sorts of napping strategies, and straphanging-napping is just one of them. The other is the uncanny ability to wake up just as the train is pulling into your station.

Apr. 03 2008 11:21 AM
Carola Burroughs from Brooklyn, NY

I don't nap, I meditate - so that's my recommendation, because it's considerably easier to find places to do it when not at home. [Also, TM at least is purported to provide deeper rest than sleep.] I'm all for either one - I think that period of rest is invaluable and the world would be a more peaceful place if everyone did it. Like kids, we get "fractious," but we don't acknowledge it.

Meditation strategies are easier simply because you don't have to lie down. Of course, if you can nap sitting up, it's not a problem, so the following strategies might work for either. I actually obtained official permission to meditate at NYPL's SIBL, after being told by a security guard that "sleeping wasn't allowed." I'm fortunate to work from home now, but when I worked at offices, I would, as you just said, find a quiet room or corner and do it during the first half of my lunch hour. I get some funny looks or comments occasionally, but not too much, esp. if people ask me what I'm doing and I tell them. The Open Center has a meditation room open to all. The American wing at the Met. Museum is pretty nice too. If I have to, I do it on the subway or a bus. Parks are good when the weather is warm, of course. Often, I hold a book or magazine on my lap so that folks think I'm just taking a break from reading.

Apr. 03 2008 11:21 AM
jack from Lower Manhattan

One fellow in our office holds the phone to his ear while sitting upright in his chair a doses off

Another just sits upright with his hands on the keyboard of his computer

Apr. 03 2008 11:20 AM

What stops employers from looking at these ideas and will look to stop this on the job?

Apr. 03 2008 11:20 AM
Jessica from Financial District

My colleague and I have pulled "George Costanza's" by putting yoga mats under our desks and catching 15 minutes. It's heaven... George was on to something!

Apr. 03 2008 11:20 AM
keylime Steve from red hook waterfront BKLYN

I nap each and every day, regardless of circumstances. I have a nap-room within my office and when I am alone at work, the front door gets locked and a placard extolling the virtues of napping in hung for customers to read.

My naps will last anywhere from one minimum hours to two and a half. Employees know NOT to interrupt during nap time, occuring anytime between 1:00 and 4:30 pm. A 5-minute power-nap is anything but, less than an hour and I'm in a mood for the remainder of the day.

My wife is good enough to cover for me, and I try to time my naps with my 19-month old son.

Apr. 03 2008 11:19 AM
Susan from NY

I work from home, so napping is a possibility...but I find I nap best sitting up in a comfortable easy chair....If I actually lie down in bed it takes longer to fall asleep and when I finally do...I wake up groggy.

But a short 15 minute nap in the most refreshing.

Apr. 03 2008 11:19 AM
jet from Union City

Thinking about this topic is making me really sleepy.

Apr. 03 2008 11:18 AM
Yuliya from New York

I used to work in an office where there was a window with a large windowsill in a single-person bathroom. I locked myself in the bathroom after lunch for about twenty minutes and napped on the sill in the sunshine.

Apr. 03 2008 11:17 AM
Jasmine from Brooklyn

I have many times in the past gone to a park on my lunchbreak and crashed on a park bench, setting an alarm to make sure I got back in time. Now I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I nap when my son does! (though not every day, unfortunately)

Apr. 03 2008 11:17 AM
Maya from Brooklyn

Yes! The head-leaning-on-hand-disguised nap!! I do that all the time. Just make sure your elbow is secure and away from the edge of the desk, otherwise you risk breaking your jaw....

Apr. 03 2008 11:17 AM
RCTB from Westchester

Close the door to my office, roll out my yoga mat (kept hidden behind books on a shelf), and meditate for 15 minutes. Worked for 10 months as a teacher in an "open corridor" class room (Calhoun School) during the 1980s -- no privacy, no naps -- nearly lost my mind.

Apr. 03 2008 11:16 AM
James from New York

Turn off the TV. The best "nap-strategy" is to so structure your life that you ensure that you get a full night of restful sleep of at least 7 to 9 hours (however many you may need) EVERY night. Then you won't need to think about naps during the day!!

Apr. 03 2008 11:16 AM
Anne Riney from Midtown Manhattan

When I worked at large companies with health centers I would call the nurse and ask if one of the beds was available. I'd go out at lunch time and ask the nurse to wake me up after 20 minutes.

Apr. 03 2008 11:16 AM
Sue from North Salem, NY

When I was pregnant, I used to hit the couch in the office ladies' room for a half-hour twice a day, usually 10AM and 3PM. I couldn't function unless I had a nap. I had a very understanding boss who didn't care because the work got done; he even offered his office if he was out on appointments or anything. A real prince.

I work from home now, and don't really nap that much, but I listen to my body and some days I really need to put my head down so I do. Nap, revive, go back to work with a clear head.

Last, I take naps with my kids on weekends. Especially during the winter. Usually after lunch, we get into my bed together, read a little bit and then fall asleep. I love it.

Apr. 03 2008 11:15 AM
Astrid from Brooklyn

I love NPR but like many of its segments, this story presumes that we live in a white collar world where everyone is sitting at a desk all day. How would today's guests address physcial intensive labor and how to sneak much needed rest for "the other" employees in the city?

Apr. 03 2008 11:15 AM
Stephen DiMenna from West Village

I'm a free lance director and I teach at NYU.
I work at home and I take a nap almost every day
after I walk my two dogs in the afternoon with my
dogs at my side. It's the most productive part of my day..
I find that on the days when I nap I get more work done in less time
and more creative work at that.
Re-creation is after all about re-creating yourself
and napping is recreation.

Apr. 03 2008 11:14 AM
Robert from NYC

I remember the days in Italy when everyone closed for two to three hours for the midday dinner and a nap before returning to work. Those days have ended. I have yet to find any businesses closed from 1-4 anymore in any of the larger cities or even some of the smaller ones. It's sad but good for the tourists, I guess.

Apr. 03 2008 11:14 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

When I'm up, I'm up. I have a longish bus ride from NJ to NYC - it's dark and sometimes I fall asleep for few minutes. But rather than feeling refreshed, I feel disoriented and out of sorts. I would never want to lie down and nap in the middle of the day!

Apr. 03 2008 11:14 AM
Kelly Walsh from Hell's Kitchen

I like to nap on my commute to the city. That's why EZ Pass is so cool. Just glide on through without having to wake up. Unless my cell phone rings, or I spill coffee on myself. Congestion Pricing won't effect me at all, as I'll be asleep at the wheel.


Apr. 03 2008 11:14 AM
Nick Campanile from Lake Success, NY

Naps??? Can't function without one... I work in Lake Success. I take 20-30 minute naps in my car daily. Not highly recommended in winter, though, unless you have heated seats, which drain a considerable amount of battery power. (I've asked for a jump start several times).

Apr. 03 2008 11:13 AM
Steve Giovinco from East Village

Well, I'm an artist and work at home, so I usually take a nap just after lunch at around 1:30pm. Since I get up and try to start working at around 6:30 or 7am, I dont feel that guilty about taking a 45 minute nap. When I worked in the corporate world, I used to dream about naping, but could only do it on weekends and holidays. My wife does not share this need for naps and infact cannot ever take on. I feel cranky without one; refreshed and ready for the second part of my day after one.

Apr. 03 2008 11:13 AM
Terence from Manhattan

I work in an extremely corporate atmosphere where a nap just would not be acceptable. There have been a few times when I have felt that I absolutely required a mid-day nap. The dynamics of my job don't require me to be at my desk all the time and it's not unusual that I'm away from my desk for enough time for a nap. However, I can't go to one of those "nap centers". So, what I have done is gone into the bathroom and sat in a stall for about 10 minutes to rest my eyes. It's not anywhere close to my ideal napping spot and it's a little gross, but there's sometimes when it's been required.

Apr. 03 2008 11:13 AM
Jason from NYC

I nap in the bathroom at the office. I work 10 hour days so I end up crashing between 1:30-2:30. I set my cell phone alarm for 6 minutes on vibrate.

Apr. 03 2008 11:12 AM
Henry from New York City

Sometimes when I really need a bit of sleep in the middle of the day, I have to sneak into the restroom and sit in one of the stalls for a nap. They way my office is situated everyone that walks by has a clear view of my desk and I also share my office with a co-worker so that's my only alternative. I never feel guilty about it since, as most of us are, I'm underpaid.

Apr. 03 2008 11:12 AM
Al from Manhattan

We had a guy who built himself a nest out of bubble wrap. It was up in the warehouse racking hidden behind some pallets. He used to disappear for three hours at a time.

Apr. 03 2008 11:12 AM
Alexis from at work

I can't nap at work because I am only a peon and work at a cublicle, (plus I have too much trouble falling asleep - it would never work for me) but one of the managers in my department has an office with a small couch and every day she closes her door and naps on the couch. We all know to avoid her for that 20 or 30 minutes. Genius!
For the refreshment and rejuvination that a nap provides, I think corporations should feel great about "paying" someone to nap. The alternative is zoning out by playing solitare or reading the Onion for an hour online. How productive is that?

Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
david from manhattan

we have a breast-pump room at work for new mothers. I go in there and nap.

Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
Chetan Patel from Queens

Following is my nap strategy:

1) We are given an hour lunch break at my work place. I sneak into empty guest room with a couch and I take a 40 minutes nap, if I am not at gym.
2) I take local train instead of express so that I can find a seat and take a quick nap.


Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
Robert from NYC

Well, if y'all weren't out all hours of the night drinking and screwin' around and stayed home and ate properly and went to bed at a decent hour and got 8 solid hours, you wouldn't need to take a nap at work. That's that.

Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
Mark from Washington Heights

I was recently laid off and have been napping every day as I conduct my job search from my computer. In fact, it has turned into more a siesta.

Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
Dan from Right Here!

I just put my feet up on the desk, head back, and out I go. If they don't like it, to Hell with`em!

Apr. 03 2008 11:11 AM
DP from Brooklyn

how much does this napping store charge? metronaps has no prices.

Apr. 03 2008 11:10 AM
ben from Manhattan

When I start nodding off at work, sometimes I have no choice but to sneak off to the restroom for a good 10-15 minutes and temporarily turn a bathroom stall into a nap-pod of my own.

Apr. 03 2008 11:10 AM
CT from Queens, NY

The idea from that one Seinfeld episode should work really well, esp. for people with desk jobs. Employers can build a napping space underneath workers' desks and then only allow their employees to take a nap up to 20 min a day.

Apr. 03 2008 11:10 AM
chestinee from Midtown

like george costanza under the desk!

Apr. 03 2008 11:09 AM
Kathy from Parsippany NJ

Hi Brian,
It's funny you talked about "how people sneak in naps" in their lives. Actually when I was back in India (10 yrs ago), we (the whole family) used to nap every day from 2-4pm but now in US, after working so many years (and 2 kids - 7 & 5), I almost feel guilty of napping. When my inlaws take my kids with them (somewhere on weekend), I get a chance to nap but I feel guilty becasue there is so much I can get done instead of napping. It's on my mind that I have a chance to nap so may be I should take advantage of it but I just can't because of that guilt feeling.
Contraty to me, my husband takes long naps on weekend even if kids are home. For me, I fell like my mind is always working.


Apr. 03 2008 11:08 AM
David from NYC

I hope I'm not violating your request. I wish I could take a nap. Since I don't believe I can without repercussion at work, I tend to take my lunch to Riverside Park, eat, and then spend about 10 minutes meditating.

It helps, but I'd really rather have the nap.

Apr. 03 2008 10:56 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

I'd love to take a nap at work. sometimes I fall asleep at work.

It would be much better to have permission to rest in the afternoon.

The AMerican worker is beaten and taken advantge of as well as taxed to death.

A nap would increase productivity.

Apr. 03 2008 10:46 AM
Carter from brooklyn

I need to nap every day at work. I used to skip lunch and breakfast every day because I know that I WILL fall asleep after consuming a meal. My body reacts to the food by slowing down my mental functions and forcing me to rest while it takes care of initiating that digestion, and as a result, I can't keep my eyes open! I like to eat, so I've tried to work lunch back into my work day, and simply added in a 10-15 minute break for a nap in the bathroom--no joke! I've seen the ladies clean in there, and i've seen the other clean ladies in my office building, so I don't really worry about this setting being too gross. If there were anywhere else to do it, I would--suggestions welcome! I say we work a siesta into the American culture; no matter how valuable a good diet, exercise and a full nights sleep can be, the reality is that our bodies need a chance to catch a breath and rest throughout the day.

Apr. 03 2008 10:18 AM

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