Taking a micro nap shortly after having a cup of coffee might seem like the worst possible way to become better rested, but recent studies beg to differ. In fact, a study performed by scientists at Loughborough University in the UK found that this technique, also called a caffeine nap, has excellent benefits. The caffeine nap helped drivers be more alert, have better performance, and even reduce the occurrence of the infamous afternoon crash.
What Does a Caffeine Nap Entail?
A caffeine nap involves drinking a cup of coffee, then grabbing a quick, 20-minute nap. The reason it is 20 minutes is because this is about how long it takes for the caffeine to start to run through your bloodstream. Once you get up from the micro nap, your caffeine is starting to kick in, and you are feeling energized for the day. You feel refreshed and alert, much more so than if you were awake when the caffeine started showing its effects. It works by combining the restful sleep with the immediate caffeine boost.
The biggest challenge is falling asleep quickly enough so that you only nap for those 20 minutes. Even if you can’t fall completely asleep, shutting your eyes in a dark room or meditating for 20 minutes can offer a similar effect.
What Are the Benefits?
The first way you benefit from a caffeine nap is simply by feeling more energized in the morning. If you struggle with becoming alert after that first cup of coffee, and find yourself finishing the entire pot of coffee before you can begin working, a caffeine nap can help you tremendously.
You can also become alert faster for driving to work or operating machinery. It is a major safety benefit for you. Additionally, you benefit by avoiding an afternoon crash, as the caffeine nap has shown to help with daytime sleepiness.
How Do You Take a Caffeine Nap?
Setting up a good environment for your nap is crucial, even while drinking your cup of coffee. If you can already be in the dark, quiet and cool area for napping while you drink your coffee, it can help get you sleepy. Heading back to your bedroom in the morning while you drink your coffee is a great option.
After you have finished your cup of coffee, set your alarm for about 15-20 minutes, and lay your head on the pillow. The alarm is important because it prevents you from entering into a deep sleep. You may not fall completely asleep the first few times, but eventually your body will get used to the new routine. When you wake from your nap, you will feel alert and refreshed.
While a caffeine nap should never replace getting a good night’s sleep, it is a great way to give you more energy when you wake up overly tired or find that you are experiencing a late morning or early afternoon slump.
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