What is a coffee nap? Should you be having them?
Have coffee then sleep. Sounds counter-intuitive right?
Learn how to do this new trend and find out if it really works.
Step 1: Drink coffee, quickly.
Step 2: Immediately go to bed, or the couch, or wherever you can nap, and do so for 20 minutes. No more.
Step 3: Wake up and be Superwoman (or man).
Well maybe not quite a superhero but you'll be more alert and ready to take on your daily chores. Apparently more so than if you'd just had either one by itself.
So how does it work?
It's still pretty much theory based, in that there hasn't been enough larger human studies to be able to confirm if it works for everyone. But from the smaller studies, and studies involving the brain, caffeine and other chemicals, scientists are linking things together.
So in a nutshell, it takes around 20 minutes for the body to digest, absorb and send the caffeine you ingested up into your brain. Your brain has receptors for caffeine. The same receptors also notice and link to adenosine. Your brain releases adenosine from brain activity. Once these levels get high, adenosine makes you feel tired. Your naturally high adenosine levels after a long tough day or lack of sleep, compete with the caffeine to be noticed by these receptors. If a receptor is linked to adenosine, it can't link up to caffeine. So when you're crazy tired, caffeine isn't going to do a great deal in terms of perking you up. But if you're not that tired, and your adenosine levels are fairly low, you're going to feel caffeine's effects, because the receptors are free to link up to it.
So here's the thing. Your body naturally decreases its adenosine levels when you sleep. You don't need a deep sleep to help do this - in fact its best to keep it to 15-20 minutes, otherwise you may feel even groggier as you go into a deeper sleep rhythm.
So this coffee nap gets you to drink the coffee, then sleep or rest while it gets absorbed. You naturally lower your adenosine levels, allowing coffee to give you more of a boost!
Fascinating. Phewph. I think may need a coffee nap after this post...
If you want more research post-coffee nap, you can read it here: