Safety and OSHA News

Fact or myth: For a better nap, avoid caffeine

The only thing that will truly help an employee who is feeling drowsy at work is to take a nap. But will workers be able to get enough rest during a nap if they’ve been consuming caffeine? 

No doubt about it: Fatigue kills. Instance after instance shows that not getting enough good, quality sleep can claim lives.

You and your employees have heard all the quick fixes: Get some fresh air; play loud music; etc.

Those are fixes that only last several minutes at best. The only real way to get through a shift when feeling drowsy is to take a 15- to 30-minute nap.

But what if the employee has been drinking coffee or other caffinated drinks? Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t drink coffee or other stimulants before resting, since caffeine disrupts sleep.

However, an article in The New York Times notes that in a series of studies, sleep researchers in England found drinking a cup of coffee and then immediately taking a 15-minute nap was more effective than just napping or just drinking the coffee.

Why does this work? The short nap helps clear the brain of the compound adenosine which induces sleep. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to have its effect.

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  1. Is it now the norm to allow workers to nap on the job?

    Is it strange that my company still operates under the requirement of workers coming in well rested?

  2. Come to work. Siesta time. Get paid.
    That is almost as bad as having someone around that keeps their hands in their pockets while they watch you work.

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