Do you feel exhausted or disinterested in the middle of the day at work? Do you feel like taking a nap or drinking a cup of coffee or both together? Well, coffee and nap together are quite a hit combo! Read on to know about coffee nap!
Hey there! Coffee lovers are gonna relish the fact that scientists have approved caffeine is good at the workplace. It helps you to stay alert in your busy schedule. Also, power naps are highly recommended for the millennial work culture. Also, David Cameron, former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, in one of his interviews, too, confessed to taking them back in 2013. And now we have coffee naps taking over. Yes, you heard it right!
Coffee nap is a thing! Personally, I couldn’t be happier as two of my most favorite things are combined and it’s like a double bonanza. So, how did these two things that are poles apart come together? Like we consume coffee to not feel sleepy, right? Then what’s the theory behind a coffee nap?! Well, I won’t bore you with all my speculations, rather I would share my thoughts about it. Read on!
What is a Coffee Nap?
Basically, a coffee nap is when you drink a cup of coffee followed by a 20-minute power nap. By doing so you’re filled with an enormous amount of energy after the sleep power nap. Typically, this works when you’re really tired at work, class or before a meeting. So, get set to know more about the science behind the coffee nap!
How Long is a Power Nap?
Ideally, a power nap is a sleep session that happens during the day (usually, between 1:00 to 4:00 PM) lasting between 10-20 minutes. Any longer than that, you’re more likely to develop the risk of sleep inertia.
Sleep inertia is an unpleasant groggy feeling that takes a considerable amount of time to feel completely awake. It persists during the transition from sleep to wakefulness, where an individual will experience feelings of drowsiness, disorientation and a decline in movement in the body. And naps after 4 PM can disrupt your regular sleep time.
How to Take a Power Nap with Caffeine?
An afternoon nap can recharge your mind and body by providing the needed energy to tackle the second half of the day, especially if your workday is very long, or you have planned high energy activities after work. So, usually, a coffee nap or coffee power nap is where you drink a cup of coffee or any other caffeine-related drink followed by an ideal power nap length of 20 minutes. I have always felt coffee and naps certainly do have something in common with each other. So, there you go, my theory was right all along!
You need to drink your coffee quickly to give yourself a long window of time to sleep as it goes through the gastrointestinal tract and enter your bloodstream. More on the science behind it later! If you’re a slow drinker and cannot handle hot coffee, try iced coffee or an espresso. Well, you can even check out my previous article on long black coffee, too!
So, when you wanna take a nap at work, finding the perfect place is important. You can’t lie down on your desk, obviously. So, maybe find a suitable place like a conference room, library, gym area or even in your car! It’s also important to ditch your phone, switch off your monitor and relax after lunch for an effective power nap.
Do Power Naps Work?
Power naps are considered an ideal way to boost productivity. In fact, in university, one of my professors encouraged us to take a power nap to beat tiredness and to get our senses when a slump tends to occur in the noon. So, a good 10-20 minute power nap in the day regulates your alertness.
However, there are no hard and fast rules. Some sleep scientists, like the University of California, Riverside’s Sara Mednick — author of Take a Nap! Change your Life, suggest that a 10-20 minute nap will provide a quick boost of alertness while a 30-minute nap may take you a long time to recover. She also states that daytime naps can be one way to treat sleep deprivation.
Interestingly, a research as per Wiley online library has shown that six-minute naps, known as ultra-short sleep episodes, can improve declarative memory. It is a type of long-term memory that pertains to our ability to recall facts and knowledge.
Power Nap Benefits
So, usually, a power nap is recommended for those who didn’t get enough sleep in the night or for the ones who are too tired at work after lunch. This may be due to a jet lag, physical activities or due to tiresome work culture. Here are the 7 major benefits of a power nap:
1. Improves heart health
2. Prevents cell damage
3. Boosts testosterone
4. Relieves stress and boosts immune system
5. Elevates mood
6. Boosts productivity and alertness
7. Improves memory and learning
With so many benefits, it’s ideal for companies to allow their employees to take a power nap. This helps in increased productivity especially for companies that have long working hours. In fact, there are power nap pods in many companies to help their employees.
If your workplace doesn’t have a resting area or a quiet environment, you could even request your manager to excuse you for a 10 minute break that could be extracted from lunchtime, wherein you could nap in your car.
How Does Taking a Cup of Coffee Before Power Sleep Help?
So, most of the researchers suggest that brewed coffee plus power nap is a great way to transform your tiring day into an energetic one. Caffeine certainly makes you feel energetic but it may not have any impact if you’re already tired especially after 4 PM. But what has caffeine got to do with power nap, eh?! Well, usually, coffee is consumed to keep the sleep away.
Science Behind Caffeine Affecting Sleep
Ideally, coffee takes 15 minutes to send signals to the receptors in the brain. So, here’s what exactly happens when you consume caffeine. When you drink caffeine, it passes to your small intestine and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. It sends signal to the brain by blocking receptors and transferring molecules of Adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical compound in your brain known for causing drowsiness. It makes you feel sleepy by slowing down your brain’s nerve cell activity.
So, it’s ideal to drink coffee before your power nap as you can rest for 15-20 minutes until the caffeine hits your brain. And once, you’re awake the caffeine starts to hit your brain. When caffeine binds your receptors instead of Adenosine, you will be alert and your brain’s nerve cell activity increases and makes us energized and helps us to focus.
Hence, a coffee nap or a caffeine power nap is more beneficial compared to coffee or a power nap alone.
After you reach a tranquil half-sleep stage, make sure you wake up after 15-20 minutes by setting an alarm. This helps you to be awake before reaching into a deep sleep and that’s the exact time required for the caffeine to hit the brain’s receptors.
So, that was all about coffee nap! Do you take power naps at work? Let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
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