Coffee Naps-What’s the Science?

Regular napping has been shown to increase cognitive performance, boost mood and deliver an extra hit of energy to fight against afternoon crashes.

However, there’s a new form of napping gaining popularity- coffee naps.

Although coffee and sleep don’t particularly match up in people’s minds with a restorative sleep- when combined with a quick power nap, the combination of caffeine and dozing can make for a great energy boost.

Here’s the Science

First, it’s important to look at how caffeine effectively works in the body.

When we drink coffee it is absorbed into our bloodstream, kickstarting our energy levels through blocking the sleep causing hormone Adenosine. If we sleep during this process, the adenosine is naturally cleared away, meaning the caffeine can replace it!

The handy thing with 20 minute coffee naps is that it takes just 20 minutes for this process to occur, meaning that if you wake up after a quick doze- your mind is pretty much cleared of sleep hormones- giving you an energy boost- and a relatively clear head.

There is one issue with coffee naps however, the timings need to be correct. Slip into deep sleep after 20 minutes and you could wake up feeling pretty groggy and sluggish. It’s best to set an alarm as soon as you drink the coffee, find a quiet corner in the office and have a doze!

Here are a few facts on coffee naps – if you’d like to give them a go!
  • Coffee naps can be great for an afternoon energy burst, especially if you’ve hit the afternoon slump. You don’t have to fall completely asleep, as long as you’ve got somewhere to just have a quiet lie down for 20 minutes, you’re bound to wake up feeling fresh.
  • Studies have shown that coffee naps are more cognitive enhancing than normal naps alone, with subjects scoring higher on memory tests and stating they were less tired after a coffee nap- in comparison to a caffeine free snooze.
  • Although coffee naps should only be restricted to 20 minutes, if you struggle to fall asleep fast, scientists advise that even a few minutes of restful dozing has the same restorative affects!
  • Of course, coffee naps should not really be used in replacement of a restful night’s sleep, but they can have their benefits.
  • Just 20 minutes of napping in the day can make up for one hour of sleep during the night, add caffeine to the mix and coffee naps can be pretty great!

So, although sticking to a consistent sleep routine is an essential part of healthy rest, if you fancy a mid afternoon energy burst, coffee naps could be a great activity to try!

All posts