We know what you’re thinking. Coffee and naps can’t possibly go together. When you’re tired, you usually pick one or the other. But science is here to back up the fact that a double shot of espresso may be just the thing to toss back before laying down for some quick zzz’s.
Science? Tell me More
Coffee is absorbed through the small intestine, passes into the bloodstream, and then into the brain. There, it occupies receptors that are usually filled by adenosine, a byproduct of brain activity. When it gathers at high levels, it plugs into these brain receptors, causing you to feel tired. But with caffeine blocking the receptors, it’s unable to do so.
In other words, coffee naps work because it takes about 20 minutes for the body to process and react to the effects of caffeine. By power napping immediately after a cup o’ joe, the stimulant kicks in just in time to wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
Where, When, How?
You can take a coffee nap any time, but they’re most effective in the afternoon to fight the mid-afternoon energy crash. It’s a great aid to hike productivity for workers and drowsy students.
Whether you’re at work, school, or at home, try to find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Ear plugs and/or eye masks can be helpful to drown out extra noise and light, especially if you’re at work.
Coffee is always the ideal caffeine consumption before a power nap. Tea doesn’t contain enough caffeine, and sugary sodas can send you into a glucose-rush that prevents napping at all.
Remember to keep your nap on the short side — if you snooze for too long you could end up drifting into REM sleep and run the risk of feeling groggy when you wake up (and you want to wake up before the caffeine kicks in!).
Whether you’re a student or a worker, stop by La Prima in the Strip District or Carnegie Mellon University today for your pre-nap fix!