If you enjoy coffee and think taking naps is a wonderful thing, then get ready for a story that explains the benefits of combining the two.
How to have a caffeine nap:
Step one: have some coffee, making sure to drink it rather quickly. Can anyone say, “iced coffee”? That, or espresso is an alternative in the event you’re not too keen on gulping down a cup of steaming hot coffee : )
Step two: go to sleep for 20 minutes (but not any longer) after consumption of the hot beverage.
A refreshed, well-rested and energized you.
According to studies, individuals engaging in this process have not only been shown to perform better on memory tests but they’ve made less errors on driving simulators.(1)
For example, one Japanese study discovered that the “caffeine nap,” as it’s been called, helped people perform much better than those who just took a nap without immediate consumption of caffeine prior. (1)
As for the driving test, Loughborough University researchers in the UK found that sleepy participants who took a 15-minute coffee nap had fewer errors than times they were given a decaffeinated placebo, only coffee, or strictly took a nap.(1)
Why the caffeine nap is said to be effective
The concept is simple, honing in on caffeine’s effect on the part of the brain that’s responsible for producing tired feelings.(1) With the understanding that it takes approximately 20 minutes for caffeine to reach the brain — the same amount of nap time recommended in the studies — it’s believed that waking up within this timeframe after having caffeine allows people to rest and recharge, only to wake up right on time for the caffeine’s high-energy gusto to kick in.(2)
This may be where some eyebrows are raised, as some folks may see the study as an opportunity to forego hours worth of shut-eye in favor of the caffeine nap. Especially today, many people are advocates of obtaining proper levels of uninterrupted sleep (and no, four or five hours does not count) especially as today’s modern-day expectations frequently change (i.e. working late hours, checking work emails from home, and so on). Experts have noted that lack of proper sleep, for example, can lead to everything from an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes to even breast and colon cancers.(3)
Is the coffee nap a good idea or not?
While coffee drinkers and those seeking to get by on less sleep may rejoice in these findings and may even try it themselves, others may see it as an unhealthy way to get an energy boost. The latter likely focus on the nervousness, tremors and overall sensitivity that caffeine has been linked to, as well as the aforementioned problems linked to inadequate sleep levels.(4)
What do you think?
Keep a coffee drink and a nap as two different things, or combine them for the perfect sleep/energy mix?
Or avoid caffeine altogether and say hogwash to this idea…just stick to the good stuff like organic fruits, veggies and decent sleep?