Sleeping in a office chair should be fine as long as you are comfortable with it and get enough room to recline back, even if it’s a little bit. As per Harvard Medical School sleeping in a chair isn’t quite harmful provided it doesn’t interfere with your sleep quality.
As long as sleeping in an office chair does not become a long-lasting habit, you can try and adjust your body to a chair and sleep comfortably on it. This article will tell you all there is to know about sleeping in an office chair: pros, cons, whether you should do it or not, and most importantly, how to sleep comfortably in a chair.
Cons of Sleeping in An Office Chair
- Neck pain and stiff neck
- Poor blood circulation in arms and legs while stating sedentary and motionless
- Legs might fall asleep
- Chair Hair (where only the back of your head is affected)
- Increased chances of sedentary illness
Pros of Sleeping in An Office Chair
- Much easier to breathe
- Better than sleeping on the dirty office floor
- Better position for digesting food as compared to laying down
- Reduces inflammation and acid reflux
Is It Comfortable To Sleep in An Office Chair?
Sleeping in an office chair can end up being way too comfortable or very uncomfortable. It depends on the kind of office chair you sit in. If you have a traditional office chair with little or no adjustable features, then sleeping in it won’t be comfortable at all. However, sleeping in an napping office chair is quite convenient. Such chairs also come with a reclination feature. So, you can lean back at an angle that is larger than 90 degrees on these chairs and that would provide even more comfort.
On the other hand, a regular straight back office chair doesn’t allow you to sleep comfortably. After some time, your back will hurt and you’ll find yourself waking up from a nasty backache. This problem is not there with ergonomic chairs.
In fact, you’ll be sleeping with your spine supported in its natural alignment if you have the right ergonomic chair. Moreover, these chairs also have headrests to support your neck and head. You will feel refreshed and rejuvenated from top to bottom when you wake up.
Sleeping in a regular office chair poses the risk of damaging your back, shoulders, and neck. While with an ergonomic office chair, you won’t have to worry about hurting your body anymore.
Features Of An Ergonomic Chair That Help You Sleep
An ergonomic office chair comes with many features that work together to keep you comfortable. Given below are some of these features that make an ergonomic office chair suitable for sleeping:
One of the most important features that make an office chair suitable for taking a power nap is a headrest. You wouldn’t want to fall asleep into a deep slumber and start snoring. All you want is a short and sweet nap where you can lean your head on the headrest and rest comfortably. Moreover, a good headrest also supports your neck, thus, preventing neck aches.
Traditional office chairs are very basic in design and don’t have footrests attached. But, ergonomic ones might come with a footrest that will allow proper blood circulation in your legs. You can elevate your feet with these and that eliminates the possibility of numbness and pain. Keep in mind that you can always create a makeshift footrest with a regular chair to elevate your feet in case you don’t own an ergonomic chair.
Regular office chairs don’t usually come with good armrests. But, the ergonomic ones allow you to form a right angle with the elbows. This is the posture you should be aiming for and besides, the height of the armrest can be adjusted as well. Keep in mind that fixed armrests that slope downwards are not at all appropriate for naps and long hours of usage.
Other features of ergonomic office chairs that facilitate its use for sleeping are backrests, tall back, adjustability, etc.
How To Sleep Comfortably While Sitting in An Office Chair?
You obviously shouldn’t be sleeping while sitting in a chair every day. As long as it is irregular and only for a short duration, sleeping in a chair is okay! However, you need to know a couple of things to make sure that your sweet sleep escape is worthwhile. Given below are 5 things you need to know to sleep comfortably while sitting up in an office chair:
Gather Comfortable Sleeping Tools
The first thing you need to do is consciously look around and gather all those things that will make your sleep more comfortable. Soft pillows are a steal for such a situation. Besides supporting your neck, these will give you a cozy feeling too. Although the need for a pillow is not so much if you are sleeping in an ergonomic chair. If you have a travel blanket and a travel pillow, then such a situation is perfect to expand its usability.
Adjust Your Chair
You need to make sure that the surface you plan to sleep on is comfortable enough. If you have chairs that recline back and have proper padding, then you are in luck. Otherwise, here are a couple of tips to help you get the most out of your chair:
- If there is more than one chair available, combine them together to make a sleeping platform
- If your chair comes with adjustable armrests, then you can remove or flip them over to get more sleeping space.
- If you are sitting on a recliner chair, then position and adjust its reclination angle to suit your comfort level.
- If your sitting setup comes with a desk, then you can lean on it with your head down to support your upper body.
You can get the best sleeping adjustments out of an ergonomic office chair only. Besides being ideal for long hours of work, these are also perfect for taking short and cozy naps in the middle of the day.
Elevate your legs
A lot of people don’t elevate their feet while sleeping in a chair, but it is quite essential to promote proper circulation. You can use an ottoman, some random luggage or bag, stool, or another chair to place your feet on. This will keep your feet off the office floor and increase the comfort level as you attempt to sleep in the workplace. Also, to prevent having blood clots and leg cramps, you should combine this with chair reclination. If it is not possible to elevate your legs, then you can wear compression socks that prevent blood clots and numbing in your legs.
Creating An Appropriate Atmosphere
Your workspace could have a lot of distractive elements that could stop you from getting a peaceful nap. So, it’s better to create a peaceful ambiance that will prevent these distractions from getting in the way of your sleep. Plug your headphones in and listen to some soothing music or just use earplugs to get rid of the noise. Make sure to dim the lights and adjust the temperature as per your needs.
After you’ve set an ambient atmosphere, you need to breathe deeply and relax. It is quite unusual to do and you may face a lot of difficulties while trying to rest in the office space. One of the best ways to calm your nervous system is to use the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Here, you need to regulate your breathing by counts of 4, 7, and 8. This allows you to intake more oxygen, calm your mind, and relax your muscles.
To make the most out of your power naps, you need to stash a couple of items that you can use for your snooze time at work. Here is everything you need for a restful sleep experience at work:
You don’t need to get a fluffy pillow from your bedroom. It could be a travel pillow or even a neck pillow. As long as you don’t compromise on comfort, the tool will work fine. Take note that the shape of the pillow should be perfect for sleeping. And to ensure maximum comfort, memory foam is recommended. Another thing to keep in mind is that it should be small enough to store easily in your office.
2. Travel Blanket
Many of us need a blanket to rest comfortably. So, if you are someone who relates to this, then, a smaller travel blanket is recommended. You can also get blankets that can be folded and zipped up into your pillow. All in all, it should be compact enough to easily store in your drawer or bag.
3. Eye Mask
Not everyone can sleep with lights still on. At a workplace, dimming the lights or completely switching them off might not be possible. So, you can carry an eye mask along with you. A simple one will work wonders and block out any light source to ensure that you get the best sleep ever. Some eye masks come with cooling pads inside them and some come with a massager. These can rest and refresh your eyes even more.
Tips To Not Get Caught While Sleeping in An Office Chair
1. The boss shouldn’t see you
You need to position yourself in such a place where the boss can’t see you. The best scenario would be where your cabin or office is farther away from your boss’. Otherwise, cover yourself behind a large monitor. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t suggesting that you should sleep at your job. But, taking a short power nap is much needed by your body.
2. Make some trustworthy friends at work
Your workmates should not tell on you when you’re asleep. Befriending people and building trust is a great way to make allies. Moreover, they can also trust you to keep shut when they doze off to sleep. Apart from that, your colleague will also keep an eye on your behalf and wake you up when needed.
When you don’t have any of the aforementioned options available you can just use sunglasses to cover your shut eyes. Tell the office people that you have an eye infection!
4. Lunchtime nap
If you could manage to spare some time after having a lunch break, then you can use it to get a quick nap. This way you won’t be missing out on work and wouldn’t have to hide your slumber.
5. Washroom excuse
If nothing works, then a quick snooze time in the washroom is good to get away with. When you sleep in a bathroom cubicle nobody would be able to see you. Moreover, if there are many cubicles in the bathroom, then you can use yours to stay asleep for a longer time.
Is it OK to sleep in a chair every night?
No, sleeping in a chair every night is a pretty bad habit, especially if you are sleeping in a sitting position. It can mess up your sleeping patterns and cause a bunch of health and posture problems too. Sleeping in a chair is okay only if you sleep for short durations and don’t make it a habit.
Is it bad to sleep sitting in a chair?
If you are sleeping in an ergonomic chair, then your body will experience a good level of comfort. Such chairs come with a plush seat, backrest, armrests, etc. to support your body weight. On the other hand, sleeping in a regular office chair can hurt your back and muscles badly if you are not comfortable enough.
How should you sleep sitting in a chair?
You should make sure that you are comfortable in the chair, recline a bit, and elevate your feet to sleep properly in a chair. Moreover, having a pillow to support your neck is an added advantage.
Why are office chairs so bad?
Regular office chairs don’t have any adjustable features unlike those of ergonomic ones such as backrest, footrest, lumbar support, etc. Due to the same reason, you start slouching and your body posture shifts from the normal upright posture. Soon enough, you’ll start experiencing problems like back and neck pain, and general discomfort.
Learning how to take a nap in your office chair can be quite helpful, especially for people who work for long hours. However, you need to remember a couple of things to sleep comfortably in a chair. We hope this article has given you all the answers to your queries related to sleeping in an office chair. One thing to remember before you go is don’t make sleeping in a chair a permanent habit and don’t compromise on that good night’s sleep on your bed.