Can You Sleep Sitting in the Office Chair?

A woman relaxes at work
A working woman taking nap in an Office Chair (source: istock)

I am a sleepyhead, and I often sleep in my office chair while working.

I have also seen many of my friends taking a nap during their tasks. An ergonomic chair makes it easy and comfortable. 

Whether you can or cannot sleep sitting in the office chair depends on what chair you use. If you are sitting in an ergonomic chair, you may sleep on it comfortably. However, it is essential to ensure the position of your back and neck. 

A woman leaning back in Office Chair
A woman leaning in an Office Chair (Source: Pixabay)

If your chair leans back a little, it provides more comfort while taking a nap. This article will give vital information about how healthy it is to sleep sitting in an office chair. 

Moreover, we will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping in an office chair. 

Should you Sleep Sitting in an Office Chair?

Sleeping while sitting in an office chair can be very common. However, for some others, it may sound rare and unfamiliar.

Generally, we consider lying down for sleeping. But what if someone feels very tired while working and passes down while sitting on a chair? 

Sleeping in an office chair can be considered if the chair is comfortable and has ergonomic standards. A chair with ergonomic values provides you with good lumbar support.

Moreover, if it reclines to an angle above 90 degrees, it is much better.

A man sleeping in his office chair
A man sleeping in his Office Chair (Source: iStock)

Once you lean back in an ergonomic chair, you can feel your spine supporting itself in a natural alignment.

A good ergonomic chair with a footrest can take over all your weight. Furthermore, you will have good support in the neck, which will prevent pain and strain. 

Working for long hours in the office requires a break. Sleeping while working is also a part of your work life.

Therefore, taking a short break for a quick snooze isn’t that disturbing. Since the privilege of a couch is not available in the office, you sleep on the chair. 

Advantages of Sleeping in an Office Chair 

In some situations, sleeping in an office chair can benefit you. There are indeed some potential benefits of sleeping in an office chair.

Some of the significant benefits are briefly discussed below; 

1. Comfort in Breathing 

Sleeping in an office chair improves breathing. It usually opens the diaphragm, which helps to breathe easier and comfortably. 

Patients with heartburn and acid reflux can benefit from sleeping while sitting in an office chair. Acid Reflux is a condition that involves a prickly, burning sensation in the chest and neck areas. 

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases have reported that 20 percent of the American population suffers from Acid Reflux. 

If you consider sleeping in an upright position, it allows gravity to keep the stomach acid down.

Breathing in between work
Breathing Exercise at Work (Source: iStock)

Your torso gets partially good while sitting in an office chair, which provides you comfort in breathing. 

Sleeping in a bed involves a horizontal position only. However, a chair raises your head slightly and creates a good situation for breathing. 

2. Relief in the Back Pain 

Back pain while working in the office is a widespread problem. Many people doing desk jobs have to go through back pain. 

Since our back and core muscles are regularly working to balance the upper and lower parts of our bodies, there is a lot of pressure on our spine.

Sleeping in an office chair will help remove the pressure on our spine. Moreover, it gives our muscles a chance to relax for some time. 

Pain in the back
Businesswoman with pain in the back (Source: iStock)

Furthermore, you can also elevate your feet in an office chair with the help of the footrest.

Elevating feet allows the gravity to send blood toward the muscles and tendons in the lower back areas. It helps to reduce back pain. 

Therefore, sleeping in an office chair generally provides relief to the muscles and increases strength in the muscles. 

3. Calms the Nerves and Improves Circulation 

Our nerves are always moving constantly throughout the entire day. Therefore, it is essential to provide some relief to them. 

Sleeping in an office chair will calm down your nerves considerably. Since your legs are in elevation when you sleep in a chair, it improves the process of circulation.

Better blood circulation throughout the body positively affects a person’s nervous system. Your nerves are working nonstop to help you walk and perform daily chores. 

Relaxation after hard work
Businessman relaxing after hard work
(Source: iStock)

Therefore, allowing your body to relax and take a break sounds promising and healthier.

Research published by the National Library Of Medicine concluded that hospital patients recovering from reclining chairs achieved greater comfort levels than those who recovered in hospital beds. 

Sleeping in the chair reclines your body a little that helps your entire body heal and relax. 

4. Helps with Sleep Apnea 

Sleep Apnea is a condition that causes the muscles in your throat to block the airways. The condition tends to deprive you of abundant oxygen while you are sleeping. 

People with sleep Apnea have bad sleeping habits and chronic fatigue throughout the day. Sufferers of sleep Apnea find it very difficult to work continuously for long hours. 

Exhausted woman
Exhausted Woman due to sleep problem (Source: Stock)

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information research, sleep Apnea symptoms can be reduced to a great extent by sleeping with the head in an elevated position.

You can quickly achieve this position while sleeping in an office chair. 

Disadvantages of Sleeping in an Office Chair

Everything has its pros and cons. It is the same with sleeping in an office chair.

There are some significant disadvantages of sleeping in an office chair which are briefly described below; 

1. Limited Positions for Sleeping 

Sleeping in a chair does not allow you to have multiple positions for sleeping. Therefore, if you like to switch positions when sleeping, you may find it difficult to sleep in a chair. 

You can sleep only on your back or side in an office chair. Sleeping in the same position does not have any complications or health issues.

However, if you want more comfort, you may not opt for the job. 

There are no choices to toss and turn while sleeping in an office chair. If you prefer moving around while sleeping, it may be an issue. 

A tired business man
A tired businessman attempting to take a nap (Source: iStock)

2. Risk of Blood Clots 

One of the significant issues that arise from sleeping in an office chair is blood clots. When you sleep in a reclined posture, you are highly prone to developing blood clots. 

A semi-reclined position is not considered adequate for sleeping. Blood clots are also known as deep-vein thrombosis in medical terms. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis usually happens in a situation where a blood clot forms in one or more of the veins.

It primarily affects the veins in the legs of a person. It can lead to chronic pain in the legs, including swelling. 

Swelling of the veins eventually causes swelling in the legs and the ankles. 

Calf pain due to blood clot
Calf pain due to blood clot (Source: iStock)

While sleeping in an office chair, your body remains confined for long hours, which results in blood clots.

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the significant reasons behind blood clots is limited body movements. 

3. Causes Neck Strain 

If you develop the habit of sleeping upright in an office chair, you may create the issue of strain on the neck. 

While we are asleep, usually, the muscles in our body loosen up. As a result, you will find it very difficult to sit up.

Along with the strain on the neck, sleeping upright also lets our heads drop aside. 

Strain in the neck
Neck strain (Source: iStock)

Furthermore, while you sleep in an office chair, your body becomes manipulated into an awkward position. As a result, you tend to develop problems in the muscles. 

4. Pain in the Knees

One of the major issues with sleeping in an office chair is that it provides minimal space. It is nothing like having an entire bed for yourself. 

Sleeping in an office chair causes pain in the knees. It is one of the most common issues that many people face and go through every day.

There won’t be much space for your legs to move in an office chair. Therefore, you are confined to a single sleep posture.

As a result, your knees become constricted, which can be a significant issue. 

Pain in the knees lasts for a long time and can cause health issues. Therefore, it is better to take care of it already. 

Pain in knee
Pain in the knees (Source: Stock)

How to Sleep Comfortably Sitting in an Office Chair?

If you are willing to sleep sitting in an office chair, you should know how to do it comfortably.

You need to set up your sleeping posture well so that you won’t face any health issues over time. 

Here are some of the basic steps you can follow before passing them down to your office chair. You can have a look over them and ensure a comfy sleep in between your tiring job. 

1. Position your Body and Adjust the Chair

It is essential to position your entire body comfortably. To avoid yourself from being uncomfortable, consider these things: 

  • Place a soft pillow in between your knees for extra comfort.
  • Make sure to elevate your legs a little and recline down to where the back of your office chair can support your neck and head.
  • Recline your chair up to 150-155 degrees, which appears to be the ideal angle for sleeping on a chair.
  • Lock the wheels in your chair if it has any to prevent the chair from moving.
  • If the arms are adjustable, you can flip them up or take them off to provide additional sleeping room.
  • Adjust your chair, including the backrests and armrests, to achieve a comfortable position. 

2. Use Some Bedding 

To make your chair comfortable, you may require some bedding. While working from home, getting hands over bedding is not a big issue. 

If you do not want to add any heavy clothes or blankets, you may choose clothes like a sweater or a sweatshirt.

Otherwise, adding cushions and a blanket makes the chair more likely to provide comfort. 

If you have an oversized chair, you can use extra pillows on both sides. It can prevent you from sliding and shifting.

Cushion in an Office Chair
A view of a seat cushion on an office chair (Source: iStock)

For your head, make sure to use a soft pillow. It should be small enough to fit and support your head and neck. 

The use of bedding maximizes your comfort level during sleep and prevents you from getting any sleeping marks.

You can find comfortable chair pillows and cushions on amazon. 

3. Recline the Office Chair 

If you have an office chair with a reclining chair, make sure to recline the chair for a comforting position.

Adjust your chair to a flat position. You can now lay down completely, just like in your bed. 

A chair that reclines provides you back support and, at the same time, allows some body movements. The best reclining angle for comfort is considered 155 degrees. 

Woman Reclining on a chair in the Office (Source: Amazon)

You may lock the chair’s wheels to prevent it from swiveling away while you are asleep.

If your chair does not have the feature of reclining, you can put your legs up on the desk for balance and support.

4. Create a Peaceful Environment 

Creating a Peaceful Environment is very important while sleeping in an office chair. There may be several things distracting you from your sleep and rest. 

You can listen to some soft music to sleep as well. Moreover, make sure the room is a little bit dim. A relaxing environment will support your sleep to the best extent. 

A peaceful environment will help you sleep peacefully and help you work easily. 

A woman relaxed and calm in her chair (Source: Pixabay)

Best Office Chairs for Sleeping During Breaks in 2022

Sleeping in an office chair may not be comforting, especially if the chair lacks some basic features. However, some office chairs have great features for sleeping comfortably at work. 

Here are some of the Best office chairs for sleeping during the breaks.

These chairs can recline and support your head and neck while sleeping. 

Chairs Features Images
Duramont Reclining ChairsSoft padding and waterfall seat edge for less pressure on the legs, flexible reclining angle and accommodating all the comfort needs Duramont reclinig chair
Hbada Ergonomic Office Recliner ChairHeight Adjustable Seat, Increased air flow and lock settings for adjustability Hbada Ergonomic chair
Vinsetto Ergonomic Executive Office ChairPadded with high density sponge, comfortable sitting, headrest and lumbar pillow Vinsetto Ergonomic Executive Office Chair
DEVAISE Recliner Office ChairReleases spinal pressure, smooth, effortless recliner, adjustable lumbar support and comfortable headrest

Conclusion 

Sleeping in an Office Chair can be comfortable and uncomfortable, depending on the condition of your Office Chair.

If you have a standard ergonomic chair for the Office, you won’t feel any complications while sleeping. 

Therefore, it is entirely okay to take a short nap in your Office Chair to break from a long and tiring day.

If you take care of your posture and ensure your legs are elevated and your lower back supported well, sleeping in an Office Chair for a short duration won’t harm you.

Related Article: Should my Feet Hang Over Recliner?

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