Fighting hard to keep awake so you can make it through the day?
If you have been using coffee to keep awake and focused, perhaps trying to take a coffee nap might give you the boost you need to power through. Feeling skeptical about the combination of napping and coffee is normal if you have not heard about this practice before.
Let’s delve a little deeper and explore how this easy hack can help you cope with having a busy day.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that is generally used to provide alertness to the brain when it is digested into the body. The most common and popular way to consume this stimulant is through a variety of drinks and the favoured beverage is usually coffee. Caffeinated coffee is drunk to keep the brain awake and it helps to manage and sometimes prevent drowsiness.
So the idea of taking a coffee nap might sound counter-intuitive but scientific research has proven this method works.
A coffee nap is basically when you drink a cup of coffee and take a 20-minute nap right after you’ve consumed the caffeine to get a quick and effective energy boost. If you are interested to know more about how it works, you can check out this post about coffee napping, and learn about the pros and cons of coffee napping.
It’s normal to feel a little skeptical about the method before you’ve tried, as coffee is traditionally used to prevent sleep but we’ll explain why it works for the body.
A power nap is defined as a short sleep that maximizes the benefits of sleep versus time, restoring alertness and providing some rest for the body in a short duration of time. Power naps can also restore the hormonal imbalance in a tired person’s body and reset the body after it has experienced sleep deprivation. So, you get a natural boost of alertness when you invest 10-15 minutes napping when your body needs it.
A chemical called Adenosine is secreted in the brain that causes sleepiness and with the intake of coffee, the caffeine replaces Adenosine and essentially this tricks the brain to stay awake and combat exhaustion.
A coffee nap offers the best of both worlds: a short period of rest and a stimulant to boost the tired brain - an enhanced energy booster that’s better than what a regular cup of coffee can provide. The coffee nap is a three-step process, you need:
All you would have to do is drink the coffee, set the timer for 20 minutes and fall asleep to get the full benefit of a coffee nap. Coffee takes an estimate time of 15-20 minutes to affect the brain chemicals and hypothetically by the time you wake up from the power nap you would get a hit of caffeine that would immediately keep you alert and you also would feel refreshed after the sleep you just had.
Keep in mind that even though this method sounds easy it might not be simple to execute, as forcing yourself to sleep is not the easiest thing to do. Forcing the body to sleep is hard, especially if you’re having a busy day. Most of us would find it hard to shut off the brain and rest, even at night, so taking an intentional power nap might be challenging on the first few tries. To train yourself to take a power nap, try to not focus on anything and relax; playing relaxing music might help with this.
Once you have mastered the art of falling asleep for 15 to 20 minutes before the caffeine kicks in, you can reap the full benefits of this effective productivity hack. This hack might be slightly unconventional for most people but it works when done right. A coffee nap can be very helpful for professionals who have stressful jobs and have very minimal downtime to rest and recharge.
If you are unable to drink coffee, don’t worry this hack can work with almost any beverage that contains caffeine. All you would need to do is ensure that the drink has the same amount of caffeine as coffee and takes the same time to digest and affect the brain. You can try caffeinated teas and drinks as alternatives to coffee.
Research shows that coffee naps increase cognitive effectiveness compared to just taking a normal power nap or drinking coffee. This brilliant combination of stimulant and sleep to stay alert is simple to do and delivers excellent results when you do it right.
Give the coffee nap a try and witness the increase in your productivity and alertness, all for the price of a cup of coffee and 20 minutes of napping.
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