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How to Take a Nap at Work

Seinfeld's George Costanza built a bed under his desk, but we'll tell you how to be a bit more subtle.


  • Step 1: Find a quiet place Find a place at work where you can sleep uninterrupted for at least 20 minutes—your office or cubicle, the backseat of your car, an underused conference room, the mailroom, under your boss's desk when they're away
  • TIP: Major cities like New York now have nap pods that you can rent for brief snoozes.
  • Step 2: Sleep outside Consider options outside your workplace: a department store with a nice lounge, the local library, a nearby park in nice weather. Just remember to keep your valuables under wraps or you could wake to a lighter wallet.
  • TIP: If you're going to sleep at your desk, slap on some big headphones and turn your chair away from visitors; people will be less likely to interrupt if they think you're listening to something.
  • Step 3: Nap between 1:00 & 3:00 Take your power nap between 1:00 and 3:00, when energy levels are at their lowest.
  • TIP: If you're a light sleeper, try snoozing under your desk. If you hear someone coming, just jump up and say thank God you found your contact lens, earring, whatever. Remember to have the prop in your hand!
  • Step 4: Set an alarm Set an alarm. You want to take a nap, not wake up when the cleaning crew is vacuuming around your feet.
  • Step 5: Check your appearance Check your appearance before you resume work so you don't arrive at a meeting with bed head and chin drool.
  • FACT: NASA sleep researchers found that a 26-minute nap boosts work performance by 34%.

You Will Need

  • A spot to sleep
  • An alarm
  • And 20 uninterrupted minutes
  • Big headphones (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)

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