is napping at work coming to your office?

Sleeping at work is usually something you’re supposed to avoid. But what if your company officially sanctioned naps during the day?

If this sounds utterly impossible to you, you may be surprised to learn that naps at work are being encouraged by major players like Nike, Google, and even the accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers. There’s even something called a nap desk!

“We look out for our employees’ quality of life, and providing space and time for naps is just another way for us to take care of the people who work there,” says a representative at Ben & Jerry’s, which gives employees access to a room with a bed and pillows. “If people need to catch a little snooze during the day to do the best possible job they can do, we’re behind it,” says the representative.

Zappos, too, has a nap room at their headquarters, furnished with a couch, recliners, and a beanbag chair. “It was born from our focus on employee happiness and wellness,” says a representative. “We know how much sleep impacts well-being.”

Google, one of the first large tech companies to embrace napping, has nap pods scattered around its campus – futuristic-looking capsules with lounge chairs that play relaxing sounds that employees can catch some shut eye when they need it.

There’s now even something called a nap desk available, which looks like a normal workstation but has a lower panel that doubles as a cot.

So what’s behind this sudden push for mid-day sleep? Studies show that napping at work can actually increase your productivity, lower mistakes, help you regain concentration, and improve your memory. One study found that people who took an hour-long nap tolerated frustrating tasks better than those who didn’t. Another study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that nurses and physicians who napped for an average of 25 minutes showed fewer performance lapses, more energy, less fatigue, and less sleepiness.

In fact, NASA has become so convinced that naps benefit task performance on missions that it’s instituted a nap culture for its employees on the ground too.

To be clear, not all naps have equal benefit. Experts recommend “power naps” – naps of less than 30 minutes, taken roughly halfway in between waking up and going to bed for the night.

{ 112 comments… read them below }

  1. BRR*

    I know that if I lie down after lunch for 15 minutes (on my WFH days) I’m much more productive in the afternoon. Although I hope PwC and Google don’t offer it because their employees have to work ridiculous hours.

    1. Green*

      I nap when I work from home, and I am much more pleasant in the afternoon and happily work a bit later.

    2. Koko*

      This. I feel torn because on one hand, sometimes you need a nap!

      But on the other hand, I tend to run screaming from any workplace that provides things like beds, showers, meals, or anything else that says, “Hey look, now you never have to go home!” And even if well-intentioned originally, those perks can quickly turn into that. It’s a lot easier for a boss to coerce employees into working crazy hours if they can point to all these perks that make it *so convenient* and harder for the employee to say no, and it can create a culture of, “Look how hard I work I never go home I eat all my meals and take all my showers here!!”

      My office has a couple of multi-purpose “wellness rooms” that can be used for breast-pumping, naps, migraine recovery, and other things like that. They’re windowless rooms with soft lighting, a couple of reclining chairs with electric massagers on the back, a white noise machine, and a few other comforts. In order to use a wellness room you have to go to reception and sign out a key that you return when you’re done using the room. I like this system. It supports a culture that says, “You can nap if you need to, but we do not expect you to regularly nap at work. As much as possible, please work reasonable hours and get adequate sleep at night.”

      1. hayling*

        Love the idea of a wellness room. I would totally use that to do a midday mindfulness meditation.

      2. Abbott*

        Hey, we have similar rooms too! With the exception of electric massagers lol, we do have armchairs though.

        If I need to nap, I go to my car. I do this often, even if I sleep 8-9 hours at night I still find the need to nap sometimes.

        1. SG*

          Another engineer friend of mine works at a company that has these- I went on a tour of the office and he was like well they call this the wellness room, but I call it the hangover room.

    3. SG*

      I’ve got a good friend who is an engineer at Google and she has fantastic hours, so I don’t think it’s related to crazy hours there!

  2. 42*

    Lifelong napper here. Every time I work from home (2x/week), I spend my lunch break taking a 30-minute long power nap on the recliner, and it does wonders.

  3. Not Karen*

    Am I the only one who can’t nap? I don’t understand how one could force themselves to fall asleep…

    1. Cruciatus*

      I don’t need to nap all the time, but certain days I feel sleepy between 2-3 and I don’t need to force anything. But sometimes even just closing your eyes for 15 minutes can help you feel refreshed. I did this over the weekend–I just needed to close my eyes for a few minutes and when I got up I felt so much better, despite not having actually slept. I just needed a time out.

      1. 42*

        Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. It’s not forced, and I’m never totally out. Feet up, eye shades, closed eyes, totally limp limbs and joints, and let the mind wander wherever it wants to go. I find myself kind of half-in-half out of sleep and very refreshed when the alarm goes off.

          1. 42*

            The key is good eye shades (I have this set that doesn’t rest on your eyelids, a game-changer), and relaxing all joints. I imagine the gravitational field pulling my limbs and joints into my couch cushions from the center of the earth. (I take this way too seriously, but I love a good nap. Today’s is in 5 mins.)

            1. Pixel*

              I’m learning so much in this thread! As a fussy sleeper AKA the Princess and the Pea, I would love the opportunity to take mini-breaks at work rather than fight the fatigue, find it very difficult to fall asleep without my blackout blinds, pillow, comforter, exact temperature and noise level – mostly quiet but not dead silence, KWIM?

              Or just do a George Costanza. I’m so much more productive, and wish my employer would do the math and realize 15 minutes of nap time can save him hours of low-to-no productivity between 1:30 and about 4.

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                I totally have the Princess and the Pea problem too. I’m actually shipping a pillow to my sister’s house ahead of my next visit there because I find her pillows literally painful.

            2. Cath in Canada*

              ooh, where did you get the shades? I like to sleep with an eye mask on because our bedroom is way too bright, but I haven’t round a really truly comfortable one yet.

              1. 42*

                I don’t want to post a link, but if you google “bucky 40 blinks sleep mask” it’ll take you right to it.

        1. Not Karen*

          Oh, well then I guess we have different definitions of “napping.” I don’t consider it “napping” unless one is actually asleep. Else it’s just “resting.”

    2. Gabriela*

      I’m a really bad napper. If I fall asleep during the day it is because I am completely physically exhausted and will sleep for 3 hours, then wake up totally disoriented. I am insanely jealous of people who can “power nap”

      1. Nina*

        Same here. It takes me 30 minutes just to fall asleep anyway, but once I’m out, I’m out for at least 3 hours.

      2. Wendy Darling*

        Yeah, that’s me. :/ If I start napping and try to get up after a reasonable amount of time my body is like IIIII’M NOOOOOOOT DOOOOOOONE and I feel weird and hung over for hours.

      3. OriginalYup*

        Ditto. And I wake up disheveled, looking like I was on a bender. So workplace napping is definitely not for me.

      4. Not the Droid You are Looking For*

        Yup! The few times I have given in and thought, “oh I’ll set the alarm for thirty minutes,” I have woken up at 10 pm, having overslept my evening plans and stuck trying to fix my sleep schedule over the next few days.

      5. Rebecca in Dallas*

        Yep! I only let myself nap on the weekends, in bed with a cat and all the lights off.

          1. Sparkly Librarian*

            I wish I knew. Mine turns on automatically around 6:30, and some days I just lock her out of the bedroom so I can sleep until 7:45.

        1. Koko*

          That’s a good one! The biological term is “sleep inertia” but I like yours better!

    3. Jennifer*

      I’m not very good at napping. Presumably those people are so tired it’s not an issue of “forcing” themselves to though.

      This would never fly in my industry now, we get interrupted every 5 seconds. However, I did hear stories about one retiree who literally used to nap under her desk complete with curtains and pillow under there. Oh, the good old days that I missed when things were happy.

      1. TL -*

        I nap. Not when I’m totally exhausted but when I’m slightly tired or have been exerting myself a lot.
        And a ten minute nap is generally super refreshing for me – I go from zoning out to alert and focused.

        1. Phyllis B*

          TL, I do the sane thing. (10 minute nap.) My children think I’m insane, but closing my eyes for 10 min. in the recliner makes a world of difference. If I lay down on my bed, it’s 1 hours plus and I wake up out of sources.

    4. BRR*

      I can’t either. I would just use the time for some rest. If I nap it’s because I can’t stay awake.

    5. Adam*

      My trouble with naps is that I’m either just laying down and resting but no actual sleep takes place, or if I do fall asleep it turns into an abbreviated sleep session where I wake up anywhere from one to three hours later and I feel just as tired.

      20-30 minute power naps sound awesome, but to me they’re kind of like the elusive “runner’s high”: I went so long without experiencing one I thought they were made up, but when I did finally have one I’ve been completely unable to recreate the experience so now I’m just peering over the fence at my neighbor’s grass.

      1. Adonday Veeah*

        Maybe you should be smoking your neighbor’s grass instead of just peering at it…

    6. Koko*

      It’s a skill you can learn. Breathwork is very powerful. I can usually put myself to sleep in under 5 minutes using breathing and meditation techniques.

      Technique #1: Breathe in slowly through the nose while mentally counting to 4, hold the breath while counting to 7, exhale slowly through the mouth while mentally counting to 8.

      Technique #2: Breathe in slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Try to breathe as slow as possible and count every in-breath and out-breath (like counting sheep). Do not allow yourself to think of anything but the count – if your mind strays to something else (it will) just return back to your counting. Don’t worry if you can’t remember what number you left off on, just pick a random number and get back to counting as quickly as you can. The number isn’t important, it’s the repetitiveness and single-mindedness of the counting that puts you to sleep.

      Both should be used in a room as dark as possible – I have even covered up the electronic indicator lights telling me that various electronic devices in my room are on or on standby. Even those little sources of light make a big difference for melatonin production! An eye mask is also really helpful if you have trouble falling asleep in the day.

      Most people will find that either of the above techniques can put you to sleep quite rapidly.

    7. NJ Anon*

      Me! I’m a lousy napped. Takes too long g to fall asleep and crabby when I get up.

    8. Cath in Canada*

      I suck at napping. I can only do it if I’m really sick or really jet-lagged. My husband’s a champion napper though – he can fall asleep anywhere, any time.

      If this ever comes to my workplace, I’m going to have to push for an equivalent kind of break for non-nappers. Maybe they can have a cozy reading nook as well as a napping station!

  4. Cruciatus*

    Nope–will never come to the university I work at! We do get an hour for lunch so theoretically people could take a nap as needed (they’d just need to find their own spot to do it). So do people work the same hours they do now and get paid to sleep as needed? Or is time added to their day? How does it actually fit and work in a typical day?

    1. Rinrinrin*

      Right! I also work at a university, and I know they’d never go for something like this!

      I imagine it would either count as part of your lunch hour, or you could make up for the nap time by coming in earlier or staying later.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think where you see this, it’s with exempt positions where people are managing their own time and generally working enough hours that it’s not something you’d need to make up.

    3. Laura*

      Yeah, higher ed won’t ever allow this kind of thing– though I’m sure it happens behind closed doors, for the lucky people who actually have private offices!

      1. Student*

        Higher ed routinely allows this, sometime strongly encouraging it. Not for the staff, but for faculty and grad students / post-docs in my discipline it’s fairly normal. I’ve seen professors with actual beds in their offices.

        I actually have a mildly funny / mildly horrifying story about refusing to sleep in my professor’s office during my PhD work. I was apparently the weird grad student for thinking this was not appropriate nor necessary; several other grad students went along with it and told me just how much of a misfit weirdo I was for not wanting to sleep at work.

        1. Honeybee*

          I used to live a couple blocks from the department and so I would go home for naps, but I would think napping in my advisor’s office was weird.

        2. davey1983*

          It is not unusual to wonder into our Ph.D. offices and find a grad student or two napping. I’m actually surprised there isn’t a cot in any of them!

          I actually had a doctor give me a ‘prescription’ to nap. I never bothered giving it to the department head, though, as he doesn’t care what I do with my day as long as my classes are covered and my work gets done (which means I get published).

      2. JeanLouiseFinch*

        As an attorney with a private office, I can tell you that it happens all the time. Unfortunately, it seems to go hand in glove with working ridiculous hours. If you really want to find out napping employees, check out the offices of pregnant and overworked attorneys. It used to be difficult for me to instantly fall asleep, but being pregnant and being in law school at the same time cured me of that!

      3. Lily Evans*

        People used to nap on the staff room couches of the university library I used to work at. Which was a less than ideal place because the staff room was also where the kitchen, water cooler, and restrooms were. I have no idea how anyone found it restful.

        1. Lily Evans*

          Oh, and one time the most frequent napper decided to sleep on the floor of his office (down a row of bookshelves) and my co-worker found him there. She was very startled/concerned to find him laying on the ground!

        2. Nina*

          People do that at the college I’m at now. The couch-like seats in the library are basically beds for the students. I used to turn my nose up when I saw students passed out on them, but one semester I was at school from 9am-10pm, and suddenly it made sense. When you’re fall-down exhausted like that, you’ll take any respite you can get. I only did it a few times myself (I never could get that comfortable) but I didn’t judge those who did it regularly.

    4. (Mr.) Cajun2core*

      I work in higher-ed and I can’t do it. When I had a semi-private office I would do it during my lunch hour. I have even had co-workers who have let me use their office. However, we moved buildings, using a co-worker’s office is no longer an option (long story) and I don’t have an office at all. Requested a “spot” to nap during lunch through ADA. It was denied.

      1. davey1983*

        Can you get your doctor to write you a note? My doctor, without asking, gave me a doctors note to allow me to nap during the day.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Keep in mind that a doctor’s note doesn’t carry any special force that requires your employer to agree to what the doctor is recommending. If you have a condition covered under the ADA, possibly — but even then they can explore other accommodations with you.

    5. Ihmmy*

      Ditto, post secondary and I suspect we’ll never have dedicated nap areas. I get an hour lunch though, and I do occasionally nap or doze during it (usually dozing happens instead of a full nap). I don’t get to pick my start or end times and I have to take an hour lunch per union rules, so why not hang out in an empty room and doze on comfy seats if I’m exhausted?

    6. Elizabeth West*

      We had someone at Exjob who did this–he’d go out to his car and nap for an hour and then come back in refreshed. I can’t do that–an hour is not a full sleep cycle, which is more like 90 minutes. I would be a zombie.

    7. Meg Murry*

      Unless it is initiated by the students and staff and faculty are allowed to use it as well?

      I went to a pretty intense school, and students napped all over campus – it was pretty common to pull an all nighter in a lab or working on a group project in a lounge, go to your first class and then catch a nap between classes if you had breaks. A few departments had lounges with couches that students could use, and there were lots of out-of-the-way seating areas with couches or benches – or heck, during a really stressful time my lab partners and I alternated who was taking the hour long power nap on the lab floor. I got pretty good at sleeping on a couch in a common area with my backpack straps tangled in my arms or legs so I wouldn’t be robbed. I could totally see nap pods in the student union or near the most common labs being a thing – although who knows if staff would want to use them after students, some students on our campus had dubious hygiene at best.

      1. Jaydee*

        I could give a tour of my alma mater based solely on “places I have napped.” Apparently 18-22 year old me could fall asleep anywhere. I was absolute queen of the power nap described above (like I could maintain this amazing semi-conscious awareness of the passage of time but also have some kind of trippy dreams that I could only ever half-remember). Sadly mid-30s me has all but lost this skill through lack of use.

    8. Naps*

      I work at one of the mentioned companies. There’s no one explicitly tracking hours worked. If you left to nap, no one would be able to tell that was any different than a meeting you didn’t put on your calendar.

      It’s really a manage-your-own time thing. There is a gym at work that has classes throughout the day, so people leave their desk for that, too.

  5. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.*

    Two things… 1. Mid afternoon? I was struggling to keep my eyes open at 8:30 this morning! 2. I know someone who works at Google and he points out that while cool stuff like nap pods are present at the HQ in California, other locations do not have those.

    1. Liza*

      The Cambridge, MA office does! I don’t work at Google, but I’ve visited. The nap pods look all space-age-y.

    2. Jane*

      The Kirkland, WA office also has nap rooms. What I find funnier is the nap nook, which is a little nook filled with pillows. You go in, flip the sign to occupied, and bury yourself in the pillows.

  6. AMG*

    worked at another top 5 comsulting firm about 15 years ago and nap rooms were a thing. I’d love to have them, especially on days like today where my kids sneaked sodas and stayed up until literally 3am.

  7. K.*

    I’ve battled insomnia forever, and when one of my old bosses found out she suggested I reserve one of the lactation rooms (they had couches) and take a nap there – like, instead of taking lunch, take a nap. I never did though.

    I have a friend who naps at work all the time, but he owns the company – and they’re power naps because he works insane hours during tax season (accountant). On a weekday between January and April 15, he might nap from 5-6 and then work for six more hours. I don’t know if any of his staff naps there, but I’m sure he’d encourage it.

    1. Thomas W*

      I’m sure lots of people would prove you right, but I, for one, would gladly pay you to nap!

  8. Cam*

    I spent a year working at an elementary school in France. During my two hour lunch breaks, I would usually come home, cook myself a nice lunch, take a short nap, wake up, have a cup of coffee, then go back to work. It was amazing, I loved it. Not so much the kids or the actual job, but I guess you can’t have everything.

    1. Callie*

      Wow when I taught elementary school I was lucky to get 10 minutes to eat and then lunch duty.

  9. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.*

    Also, when I was WFH, I took frequent naps on my lunch break. Made things a lot easier.

  10. Jez*

    We have nap spaces in my office and use is not at all frowned upon. We just trust our employees to do it if they need it.

  11. Nicole*

    It’s too hard for me as a light sleeper to have all the conditions just right in order to fall asleep. I’m envious of those who can take short naps, though.

    1. Kyrielle*

      I would be really tempted to instead spend that time listening to classical music or a meditation track though. With my eyes closed and laying down unless the meditation called for a sitting posture. I think it may be more the break and relaxation than the actual sleep, from what others are saying here about their “naps” not being entirely asleep.

  12. Whip*

    Sometimes I wonder about these companies that provide amenities like nap rooms and onsite laundry services. Is it really that they care so much about the “health and wellness” of their employees? Or is it that they want their employees to practically live at the office?

    1. Green*

      A law firm once showed me their toothbrush supply in the bathroom, and I was like “NOPE!”

      Personally, I’d rather just WFH where I have onsite laundry services AND a nap room.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think in this case, it’s often that people are already spending a lot of time at the office and it’s a way to genuinely improve people’s experience. (As opposed to a way to ensnare them into doing it if they weren’t already.) So it’s still tied up with long hours (in many cases) but it’s less a nefarious plan and more just “given how we work, this would be a good thing to do.”

      1. Whip*

        For sure. I guess I was just thinking that if I were interviewing at a place and they showed me their nap pods and toothbrush supply (like Green above) I would take that as a sign of being expected to work long hours and proceed accordingly.

        1. Jaydee*

          Yeah, I think it has a certain “chicken & egg” quality. I’m sure working insane hours came first (because BigLaw) and then toothbrushes were provided to make life suck less. But the existence of toothbrushes still signifies the expectation of insane hours. And after a while I think it becomes a thing that no one pushes back against because it’s just the way things are. You work insane hours, but you get free toothbrushes.

          1. Green*

            And that’s how free dinner delivery and taxi rides home became par for the course in biglaw. Dinner signifies that you may not be home by 7 or 8 pm, though. Toothbrush supply signifies “bring an extra change of clothes to the office because you may not go home at all.”

  13. Michelle*

    I don’t think it will come to my workplace (museum) but I think a quick 30 minute power nap would do wonders for me personally. I struggle with insomnia and nap would help with that late day sleepiness.

  14. ElCee*

    Naps are not coming to my nonprofit, and more’s the pity, as pregnancy-induced sleepiness is really starting to be a burden and I can’t even drink coffee to make up for it. If I didn’t share an office I could close my door at lunch, but since I do, I’m out of options unless I start bringing my car to work.

    1. DoDah*

      A former co-worker of mine would nap during lunch while she was preggers. She said it was super helpful.

      1. Friday Brain All Week Long*

        I napped in my car at lunch while preg… and napped sitting up while pumping! It was a real lifesaver as I would have been a zombie otherwise. Or maybe I was still a zombie. Memory’s fuzzy.

    2. AFT123*

      Fellow preggo corporate worker here – I was so tired in the first trimester that I would reserve the lactation room when available to take naps. If they were full, I’d literally go to the quietest floor bathroom and half-nap/rest my eyes in a stall for half an hour. I suppose my car would have been an option but I park pretty far away and I was too tired to walk over there LOL.

      1. AFT123*

        Another thing that helped – I do drink some caffeine still, but if you prefer to avoid it, try and take your prenatal vitamin around the time you feel sleepiest. I take mine mid-morning, and the B vitamins perk me up better than caffeine. I also switched to a brand that breaks out the vitamins into 3 pills a day (brand is New Chapter) and they are super potent, so taking one around 9:30am, the second around 2pm, and the last one around 4:30 gives me energy boosts all day. I adore these vitamins.

        1. ElCee*

          Honestly I am thisclose to doing the bathroom thing. Knowing someone else has done makes me feel a little less weird about it ;) Will try those vitamins too. Thanks!

  15. H.C.*

    another lunchtime napped here – even though we do have nap spaces in the office I much prefer my car instead ( hearing the click clack of shoes outside & the occasional jiggle of the door handle makes me somewhat anxious.)

  16. SH*

    I work for a company that gets annoyed with me for running errands on my lunch break (which is too short to really enjoy so I skip it most days) so I can’t see them allowing naps. I do think that everyone (regardless of whether or not they’re exempt) should be required to take a 30-60 minute break (mediate, nap, whatever).

  17. Anonymosity*

    This will NEVER happen at my work. Sleeping at your desk is a fireable offense.

  18. Applesauced*

    If napping was allowed, I don’t know if I’d partake – it sounds great, but if a 30 minute nap means I have to stay another 30 minutes to make up the time, I’d rather just go home

  19. Vanishing Girl*

    I also can’t actually fall asleep during a mini-nap, but can get into that state between sleep and wake that does wonders for me. I actually read a study that said even just closing your eyes for 15 minutes while your head was supported by something was refreshing. So that is what I aim for, just 15 minutes with my head resting on something and my eyes closed. It really does help!

  20. Laura*

    One of my past workplaces had two special “nap rooms” for employees to use in 15-minute increments. I never used them, but they were literally right next to HR, which scared people off. It was a good idea in practice, but terribly implemented, because employees feared that the nap room usage was monitored and documented.

  21. DoxieLover*

    I live and work in a Nordic country. Napping at work is pretty common around here.
    We have a quiet room on each floor, divided in 5 smaller private spaces with a lounge chair. Employees are asked to bring a bed sheet to cover it before use and to clean after themselves.
    Those of us with individual offices can also sleep on their couch or chair or floor or… One of my co-worker uses a yoga mat, I use my chair and a footstool to lay down. It’s very normal to see sticky notes saying “nap/quiet time” on office doors and as long as you don’t miss anything that requires your presence, you are free to take a nap whenever you want or feel the need. The Very Big Boss takes a nap every day and always encourages us to get some (rejuvenating, he says) sleep during our work days.
    I really like having that possibility. I start at 6AM and a 20-minute nap during the day makes a huge difference on my productivity. And on my general happiness at work.

  22. Meredith*

    One of the benefits of working from home as a contractor is that I can take short naps on the days where I just can’t keep my eyes open. I agree that the benefits of a 15-30 min nap and then feeling refreshed and productive again > trying to slog through it, fighting sleep and not being productive in the name of corporate/American/puritan ideas that glorify hard work for it’s own sake rather than working efficiently.

    Like others have said, my naps don’t usually involve me falling fully asleep but rather getting into a twilight sleep where I’m half in and half out – but 20 mins or so of that is all I need to feel refreshed again and ready to go

  23. Chriama*

    Every office should allow this. There are days I’ve been so tired I’ve basically fallen asleep at my desk. And a couple desperate times I’ve spent lunch hour in my car. Being able to take 20 minutes out to just recharge would be so much better.

  24. Gwen*

    We also have a “wellness room” at work with a chaise lounge in it that I know other coworkers use to nap. I’m like others in this thread…I can’t nap/hate napping. If I accidentally doze off during the day, I wake up feeling groggy and miserable, so I avoid it at all cost.

  25. Kay*

    The idea that you can’t sleep at work sounds so foreign to me after three years in Japan! Passing out at the drop of a hat in public common enough it has a name (inemuri). The teacher who sits next to me is a PRO dozer. He’ll fall asleep sitting up with his arms folded as soon as he sits down. Our vice principal also falls asleep a lot–and he’s got a loud snore. Students will pass out anytime, anywhere, and teachers rarely make a fuss about waking them up. I can’t imagine zonking out that hard in public but apparently it’s seens as a sign you’re working hard, so it’s socially acceptable.

      1. Kay*

        It’s sleep deprivation. The cultural norm for many Japanese people is to only spend 3-5 hours in bed a night. Falling a sleep in public is a sign that you’re burning the midnight oil like you should.

  26. MMSW*

    This is somewhat related- Wondering if anyone has any advice on how to negotiate later start time due to sleep disorder. Basically I’m always sleepy and naps are generally not restorative for me. Waking up in the morning is very difficult for me, and I’ve always been more of a night owl. There are some jobs that do absolutely need you to be there at 9 am on the dot no exceptions and that is an essential function of the position. But for other jobs, any advice on how to discuss desire/need for slightly later start time? Had a bad experience disclosing sleep disorder before so I am weary of doing it at all. Thanks in advance

  27. Rachel Paterson*

    I work in Japanese public schools, and in Japanese work culture, it’s okay to sleep at your desk sometimes. Rather than looking unprofessional and lazy, it looks to your boss like you have been working hard and need a rest. (A small caveat that I don’t always manage to follow – you should nap sitting up, not head on the desk.) A lot of people do it because typical office hours in Japan are often long, and most people do unpaid overtime, as it can be seen as rude to leave before the boss does. I’m exempt from this, technically being a contractor who must stick to pre-assigned arrival and leaving times. But I still get exhausted from Too Many Children and my ADHD goes “you’ve been sitting inactive for 5 mins, it must be sleepy time!” I’ve informed my company about this propensity for dropping off, so they can tell the school that it’s a medical condition, and the best solution is to kees me occupied with grading or prep to do! :)

Comments are closed.