Coffee Nap: Turbocharge Your Siesta

The Coffee Nap Boost

coffee nap espressoCoffee can turbocharge your nap

Many experienced nappers find that a coffee nap can be more refreshing and effective than a traditional nap.

The coffee nap, sometimes called a stimulant nap or a caffeine nap, has been clinically proven to add a “turbocharging” effect to a short nap. The boost from this coffee nap provides heightened awareness and an improvement in cognitive abilities that you don’t typically get from a normal nap or a cup of coffee alone.

How a coffee nap works

The coffee nap is about timing…and, of course, caffeine.

Caffeine stimulation does not occur until at least 20 minutes after you drink coffee. This is because coffee (or tea) must first be digested before the stimulants are sent through the bloodstream and into the brain.

By napping immediately after drinking coffee, your brain is able to clear out most of its sleepiness. With a clearer head, the caffeine’s stimulant effect is heightened and prolonged.

What makes the coffee nap so effective?

Adenosine, a sleep-inducing chemical produced by the brain, plays a huge role in making the coffee nap so effective.

As your day wears on, adenosine molecules naturally build up and attach themselves to your brain’s receptors. These molecules cause your brain to slow down and also give you that feeling of tiredness.

If you drink coffee without a nap, the adenosine molecules that are attached to receptors block many of the caffeine molecules.  Caffeine molecules can be ineffective as they try to compete with the adenosine molecules for the receptors.

A short nap helps to clear the adenosine molecules from the receptors. Once the receptors are free, the caffeine molecules can then bond to these receptors. Besides providing energy and alertness, the caffeine molecules effectively block new drowsiness-producing adenosine molecules that are being sent to the receptors.

How to take a coffee nap

One of the most important things to remember when taking a coffee nap is to drink your beverage in a short span of time.

The clock starts ticking after the first sips. Espresso or iced coffee may be the preferred beverage in that it can be consumed faster.

  1. Having made preparations for your nap, drink between 100 to 200mg of a caffeinated beverage. Your choice of stimulant can also include tea, but stay away from energy drinks or other beverages that are laden with sugars.
  2. If you are worried about awakening, set an alarm for between 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Relax, close your eyes and fall asleep. (Nap-enhancing innovations are available to optimize your micro environment, such as the Ostrich pillow.)
  4. Awaken refreshed and energized.

A 15-20 minute nap keeps you in the ”light sleep” part of the sleep cycle, therefore you won’t feel disoriented when you awaken.

What are the benefits of a coffee nap?

Several studies have shown that the benefits of a coffee nap exceed the benefits that you get from just coffee or napping on its own.

With a coffee nap, you are able to achieve a higher level of awareness and cognitive rejuvenation than that of traditional napping or coffee. In addition, the period of time in which you get to enjoy this heightened energy is longer.

The bottom line

The coffee nap is a great tool for many to safely boost your performance and effectiveness.

However, careful consideration should be given to the timing of a coffee nap. Caffeine can have a longer-term negative effect on your overall sleep patterns when ingested later in the day.

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