What Does A Snooze On Your Commute Really Signify?

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Do you find yourself dozing off during your daily commute even amidst the pandemonium of the crowd? Well, you are not alone. One can often see hordes of people happily slouching on the fellow passenger’s shoulder snoring away to glory. In cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, where people travel for at least an hour to work each way, sleeping during commute is a common sight.

Sleep deprivation has become a common phenomenon due to changing lifestyle patterns. Over-time workers, double shifters, labourers, after-office party-goers and new parents are all likely to be victims of sleep deprivation. Yet the likelihood is that even if you don’t fall into any of these categories and you may not be getting enough sleep.

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Sleeping while commuting

Lack of sleep can have serious implications at work. Adults who are sleep deprived are known to suffer from impaired cognitive skills, psychomotor vigilance-reaction times, mood swings, forgetfulness and lethargy during the day, 'Presenteeism' is when an employee shows up to work however is incapable of fully functioning at work as he is sleep deprived. All of these lead to hindered productivity at work. Under these circumstances, getting a power nap whenever possible-even if it is on your ride- seems to be a good option. People who feel comfortable within their surroundings can blissfully snooze even in the middle of a crowd or chaos.

benefits of sleeping while travelling

Some of the benefits of sleeping on your commute are:

  • It is invigorating and prepares you for the day ahead
  • Makes you a better co-worker by helping you be less drowsy
  • Enhances your productivity at work
  • Gives your eyes much needed rest from constant screen time

However, some issues to consider while napping during a commute in public transport include:

  • Risk of falls/ injuries
  • Missing your destination
  • Theft - risk of your personal belongings

While it is so common and natural to sleep during a commute, is it really restful? The biggest problem with sleeping in your commute is that the sleep cycle remains incomplete i.e. the ‘deep sleep’ stages are never attained and you may end up feeling groggier after waking up if you arise from slow wave sleep. Secondly, the right posture is equally critical for good sleep. A nap during commute can never be had in a recumbent position. On the contrary, sleeping awkwardly in a crammed space can stiffen your neck and back.

issues to consider while napping during commute

So if you really want to nap on your way to work, consider carrying noise-cancelling headphones, eye masks and a neck pillow to support your posture. If possible, try getting a seat that reclines to at least 120 degrees.

However, napping during a commute should not be considered as a substitute for continuous loss of sleep or sleep debt. A nap can never be as restorative as a good night’s sleep. Even if you catch up on sleep during commute, sleeping in early at night and following a sleep routine is must for a healthy body and mind.

Want to know how sleep deprived you are? Check your Sleep Score using our Sleep-O-Meter.



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