The Secret to Taking the Perfect Nap is Surprisingly Counterintuitive
Proceed with caution. Article may cause major lie-down lust!
Is there anything more magnificent than a mid-day nap? No, no there is not. In addition to taking you to cozy town, naps have been linked to sparking creativity, improving memory, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, improving cognitive functioning, and even minimizing frustration. If you’re someone who isn’t able to get sufficient sleep during nighttime hours, naps are particularly imperative.
There’s really just one complaint we have about naps: that all good things must come to an end. And when you wake up from that power-nap-turned-two-hour-hybernation-period, you always feel a bit like you got run over by a car.
Luckily, we have a simple solution to the drowsiness debacle, and it’s super counterintuitive. Right before you get ready to shut your eyes for a power nap, drink a cup of coffee.
Hear us out, coffee nap skeptics! First, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for the caffeine in coffee to take an effect. This means that by the time your coffee kicks in, you’ll just be reaching the most optimal length of time for a power nap (i.e. 20 minutes). Studies have shown that those who nap for periods longer than 30 minutes may experience the unfortunate effects of sleep inertia, a term that describes that groggy, disoriented feeling you get after waking up from a long lie-down.
Caffeine also competes with adenosine, the chemical that your body circulates when you feel extremely drowsy. Because sleep lowers adenosine and caffeine simultaneously will prevent it from being received by your brain, taking a coffee nap has even greater energy-boosting effects on your body, as compared to a decaf nap.
So, how much caffeine is ideal for the prime coffee nap? Research has shown that consuming around 200 mg (around two small-sized cups of coffee) is the sweet spot for feeling alert and energized after a mid-day sleep session. Also, be sure to take your coffee nap at least six hours before you go to bed to avoid nighttime sleep disturbances, which always takes priority in your mid-day alertness level.