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Get Fit @ Work: Go to Sleep at Your Desk (If You Dare)

Research has shown that a power nap—a sleep episode lasting 10–30 minutes—can boost alertness and mood. Even a doze lasting just six minutes can mean a profound increase in declarative memory performance, according to a 2008 Journal of Sleep Research study. But if you want to brave the desk snooze, first get your boss on board. “Tell him or her, ‘If I’m giving 110% and I’m taking 15 minutes just to close my eyes, shouldn’t that be more accepted than solitaire?’” says veteran office napper Ronit Rogoszinski, C.F.P., a wealth advisor at Arch Financial Group, in Garden City, N.Y. Here’s her technique for a proper snooze:

“Never lean forward and bury your face in your arms. And avoid arching your back. It’s better to recline a little. It’s all about getting comfortable and taking pressure off your lower back.”

“If you can raise your feet just a few inches off the ground, it’s ideal. I never put my feet on the desk—I just put them up on a shoebox. For whatever reason, that little bit of elevation in the feet makes all the difference in the world.”

“When you close your eyes, take long, deep breaths and concentrate on breathing very slowly. The best way I can describe it is to just imagine yourself powering down. If your office is loud, use ear plugs.

And cross your arms. You’ll find it’s more comfortable than letting them dangle or sit on the armrests. And it provides a small blanket-like warmth that helps you doze.”


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