Sleep on the Job

Do you ever feel tired while working? Do you wish you could take a power nap, but are worried your boss may catch you? We do not promote sleeping at your job; however, for those times when you just need to knock-out, there are five methods you can do without ‘the man’ hassling you. Instead of sleeping in a bathroom stall or hiding out in your car on your break, get paid to sleep while being sneaky, the smart way. There are plenty of ways to make it appear you're hard at work and moving the company along toward greener pastures, while still sleeping and making up for the rest you didn't get the night before.


Near Sighted Method

  1. Sit at your desk and make sure you have plenty of materials out around you, like your stapler or a day planner open.
  2. Put a piece of paper in your stapler to give the illusion that you’re about to staple something.
  3. When you’re ready to sleep, place your forehead against your computer monitor with your hand on your mouse so that the unsuspecting employer or your fellow coworkers think you are hard at work on that new proposal.
  4. Make sure your computer is on and that an old document is on the screen.
  5. Open a document that has a lot of writing on it to make it look like you are either writing or reading a very large document, which is why you are so still for so long.

Thinking Man Method

  1. Another way to deceitfully sleep is to place one hand under your chin, resting your head against your palm, making you look as if you are trying to figure out the answer to a difficult question, or reading an important memo from the corporate offices.
  2. Have your back turned to passing coworkers so they can’t see that your eyes are closed.
  3. Try putting headphones in (if permitted at work) to make it appear as if you are listening to music while working, which would explain why you don’t respond if they ask you a question.

The Reacher Method

If it’s the end of the week and you’ve already used the Near Sighted Method, as well as the Thinking Man Method, then it’s time to switch it up and use The Reacher Method.

  1. Occasionally, items drop from your desk, so make it seem as if you’ve dropped something important and are reaching for it.
  2. Unplug your keyboard from the computer, then rest your head atop your keyboard, letting your hand dangle.
  3. Place a pen on the ground to give the illusion that you are reaching for the pen you have dropped. If you are in your second nap for the day using this method, put something else within arm’s reach on the floor, like your notebook or an important document from your boss.

The Plumber Method

The broken sink, or plumber method, is the most comfortable and will give you the most rest.

  1. Position yourself under your desk, making yourself comfortable.
  2. Place your head behind a computer tower, if accessible. Unsuspecting coworkers will see this and will think you are fixing a loose wire or searching for items that fell off your desk. If you want to make it more believable, stick your butt up in the air as if you are hunched over looking for something.
  3. Try having your contact lens case open as if you have lost a contact and are in a desperate search to find it. This will make you gain more sympathy from fellow employees and will be a great reason why you’re down under your desk longer.

The "Stiffy"

  1. Pull in tightly into your desk and leave no room between your stomach and the edge.
  2. Tilt your head slightly to give the illusion that you’re paying attention, when in fact you are dreaming of that girl in math class.
  3. Make sure to have an important document open on your computer screen, or even a workbook open that you must read for research on your work.
  4. Be sure to leave enough room for yourself to breathe so that you can sleep effectively and still be comfortable. This method is perhaps the most inconvenient, but will work as a last minute option when you've used all the other methods earlier in the week.


  • Another method of sleeping on the job is to make it appear as if you are on an important phone call. Crack the door to your cubical or office (if you have one) and leave your phone in between your shoulder and cheek. Rest your head slightly on the phone with your hand on your phone. This is similar to the Thinking Man Method, but is just another way to switch up your nap routine and throw your boss off.
  • Be sure to always set your alarm to ensure you don’t sleep too long. You don’t want to take advantage of your sleep time, after all, you are still at work. A twenty-minute power nap is really all you need. To make sure your alarm doesn’t alert the whole office that you’re getting your Z's in at work, set your phone on vibrate when the alarm goes off.
  • Have a coworker cover for you. Use the "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" method. Have one of your coworkers pretend like they're talking to you from time to time from the entrance of your cubicle, so it appears to coworkers that you've been talking to people, when really you've just been napping. When your coworker wants to take their own nap, return the favor and have mini-conversations with him or her while they nap. The more detailed your plan is, the more believable it will be.
  • The best way to avoid all of these steps is to get six to eight hours a night of rest. Take a hot bath before bedtime, read yourself a bedtime story, or listen to relaxing music. You want to do everything you can to avoid insomnia and taking consistent naps at work. Otherwise, you’ll have way too much time on your hands to sleep after you lose your job.


  • Don't take small naps for five-minute intervals. This will give you no rest and will simply waste your time and increase your chances of getting caught. Take a twenty-minute nap and you'll feel refreshed and have the best chance of getting away with sleeping.
  • These methods may not work if you have an issue with snoring. More than likely, your coworkers will hear you snoring and you'll be caught before you can wake up. If you must, apply a nasal strip while you sleep, but only if you're using a method where no one will see your face.
  • Don't joke with coworkers about how you sleep on the job. They're likely to become angry and jealous, which will lead to your coworkers outing you. Even if your coworkers try your methods, it won't work if the whole office is conveniently taking naps. Keep the secret to yourself.
  • Make sure all evidence is erased that you were sleeping. Wipe any drool from your chin and comb your hair so each strand is carefully back in place. If you need to go wash your face in the bathroom to wake yourself back up, do so. Also, make sure your tie or skirt is evened out and that nothing unusual occurred while you were supposed to be working.
  • If you're caught sleeping, never lie to your boss. Be honest and promise to not sleep on the job again. Your honesty will come a lot farther to your employer than lying--it won't work.

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