Text: Chen Zhenji, Zhang Shumei, “Ming Pao”
(Hong Kong News) A coffee shop in Japan has introduced a “standing sleeping pod” where you can have a coffee nap to recharge your batteries in a private space. Unfortunately, there are no stand-up sleeping pods in Hong Kong. How can office workers recharge their batteries at noon? It turns out that lunch break time, posture, and environment are all particular.
After drinking coffee, sleep for 20 minutes to refresh yourself.
A coffee shop in Harajuku, Tokyo, opened in 2021 with comfort as its selling point, providing coffee and nap space for office workers; earlier, it had even more innovative ideas and introduced “standing sleeping pods”.
The standing sleeping cabin is a cylindrical sleeping cabin, 2.5 meters high and 1.2 meters wide. The design is a bit like a phone booth. There are support points in the cabin to support the buttocks, calves and soles of the feet. Users can sleep standing up by placing their heads on the arm pads. The height of the arm pads and seat cushions can be adjusted to suit users of different body shapes.
For this reason, the cafe has launched a “sleep package” (825 yen / about 26 ringgit), which includes a cup of coffee and 30 minutes of sleep in the standing sleeping cabin. It also recommends office workers to go to sleep immediately after drinking coffee, emphasizing that a 20-minute nap can “fully recharge” ” and continued working with full energy.
“Some studies have found that 150 mg of caffeine plus a 15-minute nap has a more refreshing effect than drinking high-dose caffeine alone or taking a nap!”
Clinical psychologist Liang Chongpan explained that after the body ingests caffeine, it takes about 20 minutes to travel from the stomach, blood, and then to the brain. After drinking coffee, a 20-minute nap will clear the body of fatigue when you wake up, and then the coffee As it begins to take effect, the two will be even more refreshing when combined!
Sleeping for more than 30 minutes makes you feel more tired when you wake up
“However, everyone has different tolerances to caffeine. Some people may experience side effects such as rapid heartbeat or even anxiety. Caffeine may also affect sleep at night. Coffee nap may not be suitable for everyone.”
Taking a midday nap can be refreshing, but taking a nap longer than 30 minutes may have the opposite effect. Liang Chongdan pointed out, “Some studies have found that a 10-minute nap has obvious benefits, but if you sleep too much, it may lead to sleep inertia.”
“Sleep inertia refers to,
When you sleep for too long, you may go from light sleep to deep sleep.
When woken up during deep sleep, the body will have adverse reactions.
Such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, drowsiness, etc., which affect cognitive ability and work and study performance.
Therefore, a nap of about 10 to 20 minutes is most effective.
If it exceeds 30 minutes, you may enter a deep sleep and wake up even more tired. “
As for the nap position, Liang Chongfan said that from a psychological point of view, it is not suitable to lie down. Some studies have pointed out that it is easier to enter deep sleep when sleeping on your back for 20 minutes. “If you wake up at this moment, it will affect your mental state.”
She believes that half-lying or standing for a nap can maintain a state of light sleep and avoid fatigue after waking up from deep sleep.
Sleeping cabin design makes your muscles tense
Taking a closer look at the design of the standing sleeping cabin, physiotherapist Ouyang Jian pointed out that although there are support points in the cabin, the muscles will still be tightened and the body may not be completely relaxed.
He said that the best sleeping position is to relax the muscles of the body, keep the limb joints in a natural and comfortable position, and maintain the natural physiological curvature of the spine. In addition, when sleeping upright, you need to sleep on your stomach, which is a relatively poor posture. “One of the reasons is that it has a negative impact on the cervical spine. Because when sleeping on the stomach, the head will turn to one side, and the muscle tension on both sides of the neck will be uneven. The pressure on one side of the cervical spine will be greater, which will cause neck pain in the long run.”
Improve work accuracy
Napping reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
Many office workers generally do not have the habit of taking naps, and they can only secretly “close their eyes and relax” in their seats when they are tired of eating.
Clinical psychologist Liang Chongfan pointed out, “It is a natural physiological phenomenon to want to sleep after eating a full meal. It is called post-lunch dip in English, which means that energy seems to be at a low point after eating.”
“It is probably because the body transports blood to the intestines and stomach to help digestion, and the blood supply to the brain is reduced, making it easy to feel sleepy. Also, the body releases cholecystokinin (CCK) when eating, which activates sleep-related areas in the brain.
When eating foods or drinks with a high glycemic index, blood sugar levels rise, stimulating insulin secretion. Insulin converts the tryptophan in the food into serotonin, and then into melatonin, making people feel more tired and drowsy. . “
Enhance memory learning ability
Many studies have pointed out that taking a nap has many benefits, including eliminating fatigue and improving work and study performance. “Napping can improve work accuracy because fatigue is reduced, brain operation speed is increased, and work is more focused; it can also enhance memory and learning abilities, such as emotional memory, logical processing, etc.”
Some studies have found that napping can also reduce the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Taking a 20-minute nap during the working day can help refresh your mind, but will it lead to insomnia if you take a one- or two-hour nap during holidays to recharge your body? Liang Chongfan pointed out, “It actually has something to do with the amount of sleep. For example, occasionally taking a nap for an hour or two may make you less likely to go to bed that early that night. However, this is not insomnia. It just delays the cycle of sleep and wakefulness.”
Stretching exercises to relieve aches and pains
Lunch time is precious, how can you “recharge” quickly?
1. Create a sleep-friendly environment
“If you want to fall asleep easily, you actually need to reduce environmental stimulation.” Clinical psychologist Liang Chongpan pointed out that when you use your brain regularly, brain waves will become active, and external stimuli such as light and sound will affect them. To fall asleep, you need to use these brain waves to slow down. If necessary, wear earplugs, eye masks, or cover your head with a coat to isolate yourself from external stimuli.
2. Support by chair back or neck pillow
Bending over when sleeping on your stomach will increase the pressure on your lower back, and turning your head sideways will cause pain in your shoulders and neck. Even sleeping on your stomach will flex your cervical spine and head, tightening your neck muscles. Physiotherapist Ouyang Jian pointed out that the lower the height of the table, the greater the bending angle, and the greater the pressure on the lower back. It is recommended to take a nap on the back of a chair to avoid bending the body. If the back of the chair is low, you can wear a neck pillow support head.
3. Relieve shoulder and neck discomfort after waking up
Sleeping on the stomach is a common sleeping position for office workers during lunch time. However, due to maintaining inappropriate postures for a long time, many people feel shoulder, neck or back pain after waking up.
Ouyang Jian recommends stretching exercises to help relax muscles and relieve shoulder, neck and back pain caused by sleeping on your stomach. It can be easily done in the office or at home. If pain or discomfort occurs, the amount or number of stretches can be adjusted.
i. Shoulder and neck stretching:Hold the head with your right hand, slowly pull it to the right and press down. Relax your shoulders until you feel a pulling sensation in your neck. Stay there for 10 seconds. Switch sides and do it again, and continue doing 10 groups alternately.
ii. Waist stretch:Sit up straight, turn your waist to the left, put your hands on the handle or back of the chair on the left, do not force the angle to be too large, wait for 10 seconds until you feel pulling or tightening, switch sides, and continue doing 10 groups alternately.