Did you have a sleepless night? Here is a remedy. A quick cup of coffee for a midday nap. A coffee nap? Really? Yes, you are not misreading.
Sleep and coffee are the best combinations for boosting performance if combined correctly. If you do not have much time to nap, traveling or jet-lagged coffee naps serve as the best rejuvenation.
This power nap concept may sound counter-intuitive or crazy. We drink coffee to keep alert not go to sleep.
What is the science behind this? A “coffee nap” may sound paradoxical, but scientific evidence justifies that the consumption of caffeine prior to a siesta can restore your alert senses better than napping without an appetizer with caffeine.
What explains the coffee nap relevance?
It is all about chemistry in the body. Adenosine is a chemical inducing drowsiness. This compound accumulates in the brain when you are awake and begins to dissipate as you fall off to sleep.
The alert boosting effect of caffeine peaks up thirty minutes after consumed. Sleeping reduces adenosine that the caffeine competes with.
The caffeine nap is fairly simple. Drink coffee and take a nap. Coffee clears the adenosine in your system. Combining caffeine with a quick nap provides a higher level of alertness.
The caffeine effect is more powerful as you wake up according to Dr. David Dinges, a sleep research professor at the University of Pennsylvania psychiatry department. Dinges reflects on a study in 2001 where a group was given low caffeine doses at the last stages of a period of eight hours.
They got two-hour sleep naps after. Caffeine overcomes sleep inertia, the scientific term of grogginess felt immediately when waking up.
This is not the only evidence of the caffeine dose effect. Studies in the 1990s, Loughborough University researchers found drinking coffee and taking a quick nap was better at curbing drowsiness that a short nap alone or a dose of coffee without a nap.
Caffeine must travel through the gastrointestinal tract giving you time for a quick nap.
Relax and close your eyes after the coffee dosage. Even if you just doze, you will get a microsleep effect, momentary wakefulness lapses.
Try your best to limit the sleep session to fifteen minutes. More than that may lead to sleep inertia or the spinning down of the prefrontal cortex in the brain handling functionality like judgment. The gray matter needs thirty minutes to reboot.
It might not sound like an everyday activity you would want to engage in but if your eyes droop from a long night, the caffeine nap is the ultimate rebooting ticket.