NIOSH Training for Nurses on Shift Work and Long Work Hours
Work Setting (Continued)
- For a short nap (less than 30 minutes), a reclining upholstered chair with an elevated leg rest would be appropriate. Providing support for all body parts can prevent arousals from the head or a limb dropping. For long naps (1 hour or more), a horizontal surface (bed) is preferred to allow the brain to progress into deeper stages of sleep and promote better recuperation.40
- People sleep best in a horizontal position; a vertical position promotes wakefulness and inhibits sleepiness.33-35 Nicholson and Stone41 found that subjects experienced reductions in total sleep time, decreased sleep efficiency, and increased awakening when they attempted to sleep in a more upright position as opposed to either lying flat or reclining. Zhao, et al.42 found that participants who had a habit of napping benefited both subjectively and physiologically when they napped in a bed rather than a chair.
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health