A fresh start, however, is not always the result. Typically, 20 to 30 minutes is best for a midday snooze, since that allows time for only a light sleep—meaning there's a greater chance of quickly snapping back into alertness. Longer naps equate to deeper sleep, making waking up a challenge and inviting grogginess that could linger for hours. Some experts warn of sleep inertia, a hangover-like effect that makes shrugging off sleepy feelings practically impossible. But there's a caveat: For those who have been up all night and are severely sleep deprived, a longer nap—at least 90 minutes—is necessary to catch up, Collop says.
For now, workplace naps remain the exception, rather than the rule. If you want to bring the trend to your non-napping workplace, draft a proposal that views the arrangement through the employer's eyes, says Sara Mednick, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California-San Diego and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. Instead of emphasizing personal reasons, like "I want to nap at work because I have insomnia," stress the benefits the company could reap. Explain that napping reduces absenteeism—research suggests employees often miss work because of fatigue—and increases productivity and employee retention. Band together with coworkers and suggest a six-week to three-month trial.
"People are starting to see how beneficial napping is—and how easy and affordable," Hazel says. "The most important thing is let everything go, take care of yourself, and surround yourself in a cocoon."