The Benefits of Coffee Naps
A cup of coffee may be all you need for a quick pick-me-up, but have you ever tried taking a coffee nap? Also called a “caffeine nap,” this is when you drink coffee and then immediately take a 20-minute nap. While it may sound strange to some, there are actually benefits to taking coffee naps.
When you drink coffee and then fall asleep, you are able to take advantage of all the different stages of sleep. During the first stage, which is also known as sleep inertia, your body is preparing for rest. You may feel tired and your eyelids may feel heavy. However, if you can push through this stage, which should only last for about five minutes, you will enter into stage two where your body temperature starts to drop and heart rate slows down. After spending some time in stage two sleep, you will enter into slow-wave or deep sleep. This is when your body really starts to relax and heal. It is during deep sleep that your blood pressure decreases, breathing becomes more regular, and toxins are flushed from your brain.
While most people think they need to spend at least 30 minutes asleep to reap the benefits of napping, research has shown that even a 20 minute caffeine nap can be effective in reducing feelings of sleepiness and restoring energy levels. In fact, one study found that a combination of caffeine and napping was more effective in improving alertness than either caffeine or napping alone.
So next time you’re feeling tired mid-afternoon, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or sugary energy drink, try taking a power nap with a cup of joe!
How to Take a Coffee Nap
1. Make sure you have 20 minutes to spare. Any less time and the caffeine won’t have had enough time to work its way through your system. Any more time and you might start feeling groggy from oversleeping.
2. Drink a cup of coffee right before taking your nap. You want the effects of caffeine to kick in just as you’re waking up.
3. Find a place to lie down and relax for 20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a bed – any place where you can comfortably recline will do.
4. Set an alarm for 20 minutes so you don’t oversleep – the whole point of taking a coffee nap is to wake up feeling more alert, not more tired!
5. Once your alarm goes off, get up and splash some water on your face (or wash it, if you have time). The combination of the caffeine and the bright light will help wake you up even more effectively than either one alone.
The Best Time for a Coffee Nap
The best time for a coffee nap is right after you wake up in the morning. Drink a cup of coffee and then wash your face with cold water. This will help you to wake up and feel refreshed. Once you’re awake, drink another cup of coffee. Then, take a nap for no longer than 20 minutes.
Tips for Optimizing Your Coffee Nap
1. Drink coffee before taking a nap- this will help you wake up feeling more refreshed.
2. Make sure to wash your face before napping- this will help you feel more awake when you wake up.
3. Set an alarm for 30 minutes- this will ensure that you don’t sleep for too long and end up feeling groggy.
4. Find a comfortable spot to take your nap- this will help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
5. Once you wake up, drink some water and stretch- this will help your body rehydrate and wake up feeling refreshed and energized