Coffee Can Actually Improve Your Naps! Here’s How


There’s no need to talk about how miraculous coffee is, and sleep is like a gift to us humans from nature.  Although these two are making our lives better, they’re not really the best duo. BUT, after reading this article that was originally published on Buzzfeed, your ideas about them will probably change!


Is coffee really the enemy of sleep?

Coffee boosts alertness and energy, which is why we shouldn’t drink it too close to bedtime. But research seems to indicate that if you time it properly, drinking coffee right before lying down for a 20-ish minute nap can provide you with more energy than either a nap or coffee on its own.

150 mg of caffeine is the right amount.

One study found that drinking about 150 mg of caffeine (the amount of caffeine in about two shots of espresso or a short coffee from Starbucks) before taking a 15-minute nap reduced (and sometimes eliminated) sleepiness in drivers more effectively than just a nap or the caffeine.

According to another study, a coffee nap was the most effective of five different interventions when it came to reducing sleepiness and enhancing performance on post-nap computer tasks.

Once you know how caffeine and sleep work individually, coffee naps will make a lot of sense!

Sleeping clears our brains from adenosine, a by-product of brain cells’ activity that builds up throughout the day and makes us feel sleepy, Dr. Sanjeev Kothare, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at NYU Langone Medical Center, says. You will feel more alert after a good sleep because this brain wash has cleared adenosine.

And coffee has its own relationship with adenosine.

Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist, handily fitting into the brain’s adenosine receptors, blocking the adenosine from getting in there and, at least temporarily, preventing us from feeling droopy and tired.

So, a “coffee nap” does actually makes sense.

A coffee nap combines coffee’s adenosine blocking with sleep’s adenosine clearing.

So basically, when you drink coffee, it takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to reach your brain and kick in.

And here’s how to execute a proper coffee nap:

1. Plan your coffee nap for early afternoon.

Caffeine’s half-life is about 8 to 10 hours, which means that if you drink coffee at 3 or 4 p.m., you could still be feeling its effects until well after midnight. Of course, it all depends on your bedtime, but most people should probably try to take their coffee nap no later than 2 p.m.

2. Dosage is important. Go easy on it.

Drinking one cup (which means eight ounces, not a 32-ounce “cup”) of coffee is the amount generally needed to impact your energy and alertness. But some people might need a little less or more — everyone tolerates and metabolizes caffeine differently, so you might have to play around with the amount to find what works for you.

3. Espresso is a better choice than brewed coffee.

Let’s say you take about 20 minutes to sip your mug of hot coffee. Now you’re settling in for your nap as the caffeine is starting to kick in. It’s just way less liquid to get through before you can start your nap. If espresso isn’t available, consider iced coffee, which at least lets you get it down faster.

4. Nap for no more than 20 minutes.

Wake up before your body goes into deep sleep. Otherwise, you’ll wake up feeling groggy and disoriented, rather than refreshed and alert.

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