For Better Napping, Just Add Coffee
Grabbing a power nap in the middle of your work day can be a great way to refresh yourself and get more productivity out of your working hours.
And we’ve all heard of taking a coffee break to help you relax and refocus while working, but you shouldn’t combine the two, right?
Coffee naps are a real and powerful way to get more out of your afternoon siestas and your afternoon Starbucks runs.
Although it sounds completely opposite to what should work, consuming caffeine just before laying down for a nap has been shown to increase your level of alertness more than just the act of downing a cup of joe alone.
It all comes down to your body chemistry. When you combine caffeine with the naturally occurring drowsiness-inducing chemical called adenosine, you activate a competition between the two, and if you are smart about when you drink your afternoon coffee, you can actually use it to catch some of the best and most effective napping time of your life.
So how can you make coffee naps work for you? The key is timing.
Scientists have found that caffeine takes its affect 30 minutes after it’s consumed, so if you turn in for your nap within that half hour and sleep for 20 out of the 30 minutes, you’ll wake up from your nap just in time to cash in on the caffeine rush.
And voila! You benefit from the nap and get an added charge of effectiveness from the caffeine that you consumed just before laying down to rest.
One of the best things about coffee naps is that you don’t have to actually fall asleep for them to be effective. Even just “dozing” for those 20 minutes after you drink a cup of coffee has been shown to be incredibly rejuvenating. In fact, you really don’t want to fall into a full, deep sleep. You might sleep right through the ideal timing and end up having a difficult time waking up again, which can have the opposite effect and cause you to wake up groggy and confused.
To really get the most out of your coffee naps, make sure to take them on a supportive mattress. You don’t want to undo all of the good work that you’ve put into your napping prowess by waking up with an aching back! You can find some premium gel foam mattresses that will do the trick, and you can even buy your mattress online, increasing your free time by having it delivered to your door.
One last word of advice is to be sure not to overdue the coffee naps by taking them multiple times (or too late) in the day.
While caffeine is a great added boost to your afternoon rest, it is still known to cause sleep disturbances when consumed less than two hours before bedtime, so stick with a napping schedule that coincides with lunch time.