What is a Coffee Nap
A coffee nap, also called a caffeine nap or coffee power nap, is a quick, short sleep taken after having a cup of coffee. It might sound silly because ‘coffee’ and ‘nap’ generally do not go together, as we all know that caffeine intake can have disruptive effects on sleep. However, if you have coffee immediately before a 15-20-minute nap, you can actually pair the two and boost your energy to make it through a stressful day or even pull an all-nighter.
How Long Should a Coffee Nap be
Researchers at the Loughborough University, UK discovered that people who took a 15-minute coffee nap went on to make fewer mistakes in a driving simulator system than when they took a nap or were given coffee. The experiment indicates that taking coffee naps for 15-20 minutes can maximize alertness more effectively than having coffee or taking naps alone.
How Does the Coffee Nap Work
Sleeping naturally removes adenosine, a sleep-regulating compound known for making you tired, from the brain. Your brain enters a deeper, more restorative stage of sleep when you nap for more than 15-20 minutes, after which it is more difficult to wake up and feel energetic right away. However, shorter naps do not lead to this sleep inertia (a period of grogginess and incomplete awakening).
Studies have shown that caffeine boosts your energy and makes you alert by blocking the adenosine receptors. Since the caffeine content in your coffee does not start getting through the bloodstream and gastrointestinal tract before 20-30 minutes, napping for 15-20 minutes helps the effect of caffeine further by opening up the adenosine receptors. When caffeine is absorbed, it works by binding to the receptors, lessening their effects on the brain.
How to Take a Caffeine Nap
Although you can take a coffee power nap any time in the day, it is best taken in the afternoon to mitigate the effects of the natural energy slump that happens daily around 2 to 3 p.m. Taking a caffeine nap is simple, just relax and try to follow the below points:
- Find a quiet, relaxing place where you will not be disturbed. A comfortable armchair or sofa will do.
- Drink a cup of coffee quickly so that you get enough time to sleep. If you find it difficult to consume hot coffee, take espresso or iced coffee. You may go for caffeine supplements in case coffee is unavailable.
- After finishing your coffee, immediately try to get some sleep. If sleep does not come easily, just try to get to a half-asleep condition. It’s the stage in which you might have unclear dreams, or other elements of sleep while you are also half awake and aware of your surroundings.
- Make sure to wake up after 15-20 minutes. You may set an alarm if you want.
Taking a coffee nap is also believed to offer many benefits, including improving immunity, reducing blood pressure, and lowering your chances of heart diseases.
However, make sure that you do not have coffee within five-six hours of your bedtime, else, you may have to stay awake at night. So, next time you give it a try at the workplace, maybe explain it and tell your boss that you are rebooting your brain to upgrade your productivity.