WTF Is A Coffee Nap And How Do I Take One?
A new #naphack is taking the work world by storm: the coffee nap. Two of the greatest joys in life turn out to be the perfect pair you never saw coming.
How To Coffee Nap
So how does this work? Don’t caffeine and sleep work against each other? It turns out that the science is a little more nuanced than that.
It turns out that the caffeine in coffee actually takes about 20 minutes to kick in — the exact amount of time for a solid nap.
Both coffee and naps block the brain’s receptors of adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel drowsy.
Coffee Nap Length
When you drink coffee, then take a quick 20-minute nap, you’re doubling blocking those receptors, and doubling your perceived energy. This energy can last for hours, depending on when in the day you decide to take your nap.
“The lowest point of our circadian rhythm is in the afternoon,” says sleep specialist Dr. Suzanne Stevens. “If the nap can be timed just right, you can have hours of being more productive after the coffee nap.“
The New York Times Agrees: Coffee + Nap = Better Than Coffee Or Nap
There have been a surprising number of tests done on the coffee nap. One, from 1997, showed that participants who drank a cup of coffee and then took a driving test reacted faster and more attentively than those who did not. There’s also further evidence that coffee and naps can create greater focus and lasting energy for a more efficient work day. The New York Times mentions a study by English sleep researchers that found that the dynamic duo of caffeine before a nap resulted in more alertness than cold air, a short nap, a break with no nap or 200 milligrams of caffeine, the amount in a 10-ounce cup of strong coffee.
Obviously, there’s never a substitute for the ol’ eight hours, but whether you’re working from home (see: bed) or catching up on Zs over the weekend, a coffee nap is your latest #naphack.
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