It is an established fact that a quick afternoon nap can give you the lift you need to power through the rest of your day. There are even more benefits of interrupting your workday with an hour of sleep if you precede it up with a cup of coffee.
Napping for about 60-90 minutes per day boosts the learning capacity of the brain, improves alertness, and boosts cognitive function. These benefits can be multiplied by drinking coffee 20 minutes before your nap.
Let’s look at the science:
How coffee naps help boost energy
A cup of coffee followed by a 20-minute nap is considered an effective form of siesta (a nap taken during the hottest hours of the day). So how do coffee naps get rid of mid-afternoon grogginess?
Drinking a cup of coffee before taking a nap boosts energy levels more than just drinking coffee or napping. Scientists believe that caffeine interrupts the effect of adenosine on the brain. Adenosine is a chemical that causes drowsiness.
Sleep itself helps get rid of drowsiness. With coffee preventing adenosine from affecting the brain and causing less drowsiness, you are more alert and energetic after your nap.
Sleep can also increase the availability of caffeine receptors in the brain, which leads to more alertness. That’s especially important as it takes time for the body to feel the effects of caffeine after a cup of coffee.
For the best effect, experts advise taking your cup of coffee immediately before your nap. The nap itself must not last longer than 15 to 20 minutes, which is how long it normally takes for coffee to affect the body. This means you wake up more alert and just when the caffeine is starting to take effect.
A study done in the United Kingdom found that drivers who took 15-minute naps had higher scores on their driving simulator tests. Another study in Japan also showed coffee naps improving memory and decreasing feelings of tiredness in the study subjects.