Updated: May 22, 2021
I tried the "Coffee Nap" and I must say I woke up feeling so refreshed and energized. I was tired in the afternoon after I had my heavy lunch and was in no mood to attend the meetings. I remembered about coffee naps and thought of giving it a try. So, what is coffee nap? In simple terms, chug coffee>take nap for 15 minutes and you wake up rejuvenated.
How to take a Coffee Nap?
Basically, set your alarm 18 minutes ahead, chug (fast) a cup of coffee, immediately go to bed, close your eyes, and let yourself drift off. Apparently, it doesn't really matter if you fall asleep or not, just that you close your eyes and bring external stimuli to a minimum. The coffee takes ~15 minutes to take effect. It is important that you don't sleep for longer than ~15 minutes or you may wake up disoriented. I feel... FANTASTIC. It's such a dramatic difference. I have tried chugging coffee on its own, but this works so much better.
The reason for the 15-minute nap is that after ~20 or so minutes the cerebral cortex begins to slow down. Waking up from the caffeine after that is what causes grogginess. This is why 15 minutes is important. You get a shut down of stimuli response without the cerebral cortex slowdown.
Don't add sugar to your coffee, and don't try sodas as a substitute. Sugar will mess up your system bad and it won't work properly. Sugar affects you faster.
Sleep researchers at the University of Britain at Loughborough did several tests on fatigued drivers to compare the effects of different methods a driver can use to stay awake. They put the volunteers in driving simulators while they were sleepy and let them drive. Some of the tests included rolling down windows for cold exposure, blasting the radio, and slapping oneself in the face to try to stay awake. But what researchers found worked the best was a Caffeine Nap.
Scientists haven't directly observed this going on in the brain after a coffee nap — it's all based on their knowledge of how caffeine, adenosine, and sleep each affect the brain independently.
But they have directly observed the effects of coffee naps, and experiments have shown they're more effective than coffee or naps alone in maximizing alertness.
A Japanese study found that people who took a caffeine nap before taking a series of memory tests performed significantly better on them compared with people who solely took a nap, or took a nap and then washed their faces or had a bright light shone in their eyes. They also subjectively rated themselves as less tired.
So, next time you are bored and sleepy and down with so much work- you know what to do now!
Would you take a coffee nap or would like to take one? Let me know in the comments below if you had a coffee nap and how you felt after.
Reyner LA, Horne JA. Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap. Psychophysiology. 1997 Nov;34(6):721-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1997.tb02148.x. PMID: 9401427.
Mitsuo Hayashi, Akiko Masuda, Tadao Hori. The alerting effects of caffeine, bright light and face washing after a short daytime nap, Clinical Neurophysiology,Volume 114, Issue 12,
2003, Pages 2268-2278, ISSN 1388-2457,