For strategic nappers, new research on how to nap:
When it comes to napping while leaning back in a chair or car seat, past research has shown that the further you can lean back, the better, at least in terms of subjective fatigue and reaction times. Now [researchers] have addressed the leaning forward issue, comparing lying-down napping and leaning-forward napping, and they’ve found that the former is the most effective, but that the leaning-forward variety still has clear benefits compared with no nap at all.
The message is clear:
A post-luncheon nap is beneficial to your mental functioning even if you’re forced to rest your head on your desk. However, if you can find somewhere to lie down properly, then do, because the benefits of the nap will be that much greater.
Next time you’re weighing the opportunity cost of a stranger’s shoulder versus your tray table, rest assured.