Who doesn’t feel sleepy after the lunch? Scientists consider this post-lunch sleepiness to be a part of a natural day-to-day rhythm. It occurs whether you consumed your meal or not.
Most of us prefer to sleep while lying down in bed and people usually report that their sleep was better than when they sleep in an armchair. In 2010 Chinese researchers aimed to find out whether the position of your body during the nap actually influence sleep’s quality.
36 participants (18 women and 18 men) were divided into three groups: napping in bed, napping in a chair, and no napping at all. Before and after napping scientists measured their subjective mood, sleepiness, fatigue as well as brain activity (with EEG).
The results showed that napping for 20 minutes in either a chair or bed improved mood and sleepiness. Sleeping in bed, however, was also associated with greater alertness after the nap.
Here is what authors say:
“In general, having a nap, regardless of sitting or lying down, was effective in improving subjective mood and weakening mental sleepiness and fatigue than being deprived of nap among habitual nappers.”
To sum it all up – these results confirm that short napping is a good (and pleasant) way to increase your productivity (since better mood and greater alertness usually lead to better performance). And even if you don’t have a nap room in your office, it can still be beneficial to take a short nap in sitting position.
 Stahl, M. L., Orr, W. C., & Bollinger, C. (1983). Postprandial sleepiness: objective documentation via polysomnography. Sleep: Journal of Sleep Research & Sleep Medicine.
 Zhao, D., Zhang, Q., Fu, M., Tang, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2010). Effects of physical positions on sleep architectures and post-nap functions among habitual nappers. Biological psychology, 83(3), 207-213.