Siesta Keys

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We take a look at the results of our "Nap Strategies" listener project with Camille Anthony of the Napping Company.

Lessons Learned from Napsourcing

1)Familiarize yourself with your employee handbook. We noticed that ours mentions sleeping on the job might be cause for dismissal—thumb through yours, okay?

2)Don’t be a germophobe. Many listeners wrote in praising the virtues of what one commenter called “The Dreaded Toilet Nap.” Use the toilet paper as a pillow, lock the door, and benefit from the fact that all things bathroom-related constitute a “don’t ask, don’t tell” zone in the workplace.

3)Love Your Cube. If your back is to everyone else, try what one listener does: “I just put my hand lightly on the mouse and close my eyes…it has taken a few years of practice to prevent my head from falling over but I think I have mastered that part.” If you’re not quite there, one listener uses the “head-leaning-on-the-hand” technique. Several of you pull a George Costanza and sleep under your desk.

4)Use your commute— but carefully. Sleeping on the bus/subway/train is a time-honored tradition, but as one person warned “I once awoke on a bus with my shoelaces tied—you never know who’s around to take advantage.” And no, you shouldn’t sleep while driving, Rick from Middletown.

5)Know Your Surroundings. Work near a park? Welcome to the park bench nap. Any empty offices nearby? Libraries with cushiony chairs? Houses of worship with welcoming pews? Museums? Work your environment!

6)Don’t go too far. One listener, a stage manager, fell asleep on a catwalk—only to be awoken by a stage light shining in her face at the opening of act one. Another, who works in construction, shared a cautionary tale about a fellow who napped in a pipe chase—and was entombed in sheet rock. And another, a habitual car napper, has had to ask for a jump start several times after his seat heater drained his battery.


Camille Anthony

Comments [14]

KS from Denton

My computer sets on a desk behind me so I turn my chair away form the door, hit the wheel on my mouse to auto scroll, set it for a very slow pace (very important to have a pdf of a very very long doc.) then nightie night. I have on occasion slept for over an hour but normally 20-30 min. works wonders for my day.

Apr. 15 2008 04:48 PM
N. N. from PA

(above comment, continued) The chaise is "just 18 inches wide. When you lie on it, you naturally fold your arms over your chest. Should you doze off, your arms soon fall to your sides, waking you up." -- from the Herman Miller website

Apr. 13 2008 05:25 PM
N. N. from PA

Director's (Napping) Couch: "In 1955 while filming on location, director Billy Wilder discovered he could take quick naps on a plank held up by sawhorses. This prompted Wilder to tell his friends Charles and Ray Eames that he needed a narrow office couch. The Eameses remembered that conversation and in 1968 introduced the Eames chaise, giving the first one to Wilder. It has been produced by Herman Miller ever since." -- from the Herman Miller website

Apr. 13 2008 04:22 PM
seth from Florida

When I used to work on Wallstreet, I would regularly take a walk to one of the local churches and meditate. Zen meditation is a great way to rejuvenate the body. You make your eyes soft, half lowering the lids, sit erect and then you begin watching your breathes, counting each exhale or inhale to 10. It's quite hard to do this without having thoughts that distract you and take you on wild journeys. When you are aware that you've had a thought sojourn and regain awareness of your focus, you label the experience "Thinking about whatever" and go back to watching/counting your breath. It's amazing how this clears the mind and balances one. Sometimes, if I was very tired, I would lose consciousness and fall into a light and restful sleep. I'd set my alarm for 30 minutes and wake up always refreshed. There were always a handful of people doing the same thing. Meditation/napping is an amazing tool.

Apr. 10 2008 09:55 PM
Michal from Manhattan

The Onion points out the dangers of too much stealth-relaxation in the middle of the workday with their "Businessman Takes Power Bath" blurb:

Apr. 10 2008 12:09 PM
chestinee from Midtown

My guess is the student in Bronxville who got pulled over for jaywalking is likely a babe and that's probably why the cop bothered her! (I remember this kind of thing from my youth)

Apr. 10 2008 12:03 PM
SRD from Brooklyn

Power napping! I learned about it freshman year of colelge in my psychology class sleep unit. I set my alarm so I nap for 15-20 minutes, while listening to classical music. You get rest, without going into REM Sleep. If you enter REM sleep (dreaming, eyes fluttering, muslces relaxed), and wake-up mid-cycle, you feel really groggy and more sleepy than you did before.

Apr. 10 2008 11:58 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

Brian, you seem to assume that managers don't listen. How many nap catchers have you spawned?

Apr. 10 2008 11:58 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

I have been napping on rapid transit for decades and have never passed my stop. After moving from Chicago to New York, I wasn't sure I could still do it, because I was so familiar with my stops that I would count them in my sleep. At least I think that is what I was doing. After four years here, I can do the same here. When I first got here I know my transit naps were not as deep.

Apr. 10 2008 11:56 AM
Seth from manhattan

When I was a night manager at a bar, and was REAL tired, I would say to the security staff that I was going to go to the office and watch check the security tapes, and for them to call me if I was needed. I'd take a 15 minute snooze, and then come back and say I didn't see anything unusal. Not often, but I did it a couple times.

Apr. 10 2008 11:52 AM
Isaiah Thompson from Miami, FL

Brian - it is absolutely possible to train yourself to get off at the right stop. Growing up n Chicago, I used to take a bus and a train to Chicago. I'd get on the bus, sleep until my stop, geton the train, sleep until my stop again. In four years, I only missed a couple of times.


Apr. 10 2008 11:52 AM
Janine from Manhattan

The law firm I used to work at in Boston has several "sick rooms" with beds, clean sheets, and a phone. Lots of people used to nap, have someone ring the phone when an hour was up and were much more productive.

Apr. 10 2008 11:48 AM
Nicole Fineman

I curl up under my desk with a blanket and pillow.


Apr. 10 2008 11:46 AM

I've coined a word that needs a definition: nap-olepsy.

Apr. 10 2008 11:46 AM

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