Master the art of Sleep

 

The Coffee Nap

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Have you tried a Coffee nap?

When you’ve had a sleepless night, be it down to cold, flu or just too much on your mind, I’d definitely recommend one.

I don’t use coffee naps often, but that’s because I’m a morning person and it doesn’t readily fit into my schedule; However on nights like I had last night, where I was so congested, coughing meant that I couldn’t breath and had to sit up to clear my throat properly, a coffee nap comes to my rescue!

The Science

It’s all about the brain & gut link!

When you drink caffeine, it passes to your small intestine and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. It then kickstarts your brain chemistry by blocking receptors normally filled by similar energy transferring molecules of Adenosine (Known for causing drowsiness).

Adenosine makes you feel sleepy by slowing down your brain’s nerve cell activity; so when caffeine binds to your receptors instead of Adenosine, the reverse happens…

When caffeine takes Adenosine’s place in the receptors, it has the opposite effect; the nerve cells speed up giving us that jolt of caffeine energy and focus.[1]

So, what does any of that have to do with a 20-minute nap?

Sleep naturally clears Adenosine from your brain! It takes 20 minutes to metabolize coffee from the time you drink it.A perfect time to open up those Adenosine receptors to the caffeine you just imbibed.[2]

What type of nap should I have?

If you’re restless and can’t sleep, or any other reason for not being able to nap fully, don’t worry!, Half-sleep or “nonsleep dozing” has been proven to work as well.[3]

 

Why Do Coffee Naps Work So Well?

Scientists have directly observed the behavioral and cognitive effectiveness of the coffee nap and say that it’s more productive than choosing either coffee or a nap on it’s own[5-7].

In several UK studies, researchers  found that when subjects took a 15 minute coffee nap, they scored higher on a driving simulator test.

A separate study found coffee naps can help people go for long periods without proper sleep.

In one experiment, 24 young men went without proper sleep for a 24-hour period, taking only short naps.

In Japan, scientists founds their subjects scored higher on memory tests after coffee naps.  Subjects also claimed they felt less tired.[5, 6, 7]

The Method

Drink a cup of coffee.

Nap for no more than 30 minutes. If you nap longer, you run the risk of heading into deep sleep, which will leave you feeling tired and groggy, besides you want to be awake for when the coffee gives you that nice little kick 🙂

Wake up and get on with your day!

XOXO

Francesca

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164566 Caffeine and Adenosine.
  2. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep Why Do We Sleep, Anyway, Harvard Medical School.
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401427 Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap.
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12531174 Sleep Inertia.
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401427 Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap.
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8936399 Counteracting driver sleepiness: effects of napping, caffeine, and placebo.
  7. http://www.clinph-journal.com/article/S1388-2457(03)00255-4/abstract The alerting effects of caffeine, bright light and face washing after a short daytime naps.
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MASTERING THE ART OF……MEAL PREP – PART 2

soooo….. it’s been a while since I last posted, I can give you a load of excuses but life is always like this….

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but I did promise some recipes!

How to Meal Prep Chicken

1. Time saving seasoning.
Lean meats like chicken, and pork get boring once you’ve been eating them for god knows how long. Tantalize your taste buds by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once. Using foil dividers in your pan you can add in as many flavours as you like!. check out some recipies here: Photo and recipe: Fit Men Cook

How to Hard Boil Eggs for Meal Prep

2. Oven Eggs.
When I’m having a break from eating chicken, I like to swap it in for Eggs. Because I like things to be brief…and I like being lazy, to make a dozen in one go, bake your eggs in muffin tins for just 30 minutes and you’re done!. Photo and recipe: The Lean Green Blog

How to Store Vegetables for Meal Prep

3. spiralize all the veggies.
When I meal prep, I chop and cook, but I never box until the night before. This saves me so much time because I can literally throw veggies into anything! Have a go at spiraling (They’re a great alternative to pasta as well.

Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated properly in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware. Photo and tip: Inspiralized

How to Roast Vegetables for Meal Prep

4. Roast vegetables with same cooking time.
To prep a large batch of veggies, try pairing them based on roasting time. Fast-cooking vegetables that can bake in the same pan include asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting vegetables include carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips. Photo: Picky Palate

Meal Prep Ideas Oatmeal Jars

5. Customize Oatmeal.
Fiber-rich foods like oatmeal are ideal for keeping you satiated until lunchtime or as a post workout refuel, due to the added sugar and unnatural preservatives I stay far far far away from store bought versions. Have a look at “raspberries and dark chocolate,” at Clean Food Crush

Muffin Cup Souffles Egg Muffins

6. Breakfast frittatas.
These are a go to for my breakki every time when I am eating egg, and when I have a fat meal for breakfast. Try these recipes in advance. You can store in the fridge for up to five days.Photo and recipe: Full Fork Ahead

Grilled Pesto Salmon Skewers

7. Meat on a Stick!.

I love love love love love Kabobs Not only because I can make some kick ass flavoured meat sticks, but because I can portion out the sticks per meal, meaning that when I box up at night, I just grab 2-3 sticks.

These are also great for picnics and for keeping to your meal prep at BBQ’s! Photo and recipe: Life by DailyBurn

Mastering the art of……Meal Prep – Part 1

When you visit any blog or forum regarding fitness and health, they all tell you the same thing. “MEAL PREP!”…..and they’re right.

Different - Meal Prep

But like many things, don’t go jumping right in, give 100% and then think it’s not working for you.

Going 100% doesn't work

Start with 1 recipe and go from there.

Try replacing lunch or dinner for 3 days a week.

It doesn’t even need to be cooked! A supermarket chicken and a pre-packed Salad = a great, healthy meal.

I’m not giving you the right to go out an eat as much take away as you want either! Keep it clean and healthy.

No way! I'm not saying you can eat as much as you want. This is meal prep!

No way! I’m not saying you can eat unlimited pizza and Thai food, keep it healthy!

Stick to what you know.

I know I’m talking about mastering meal prep here, but while you form meal prep into a habit, keep it simple. Cooking the recipes you know makes the meal prep faster and you know you’re going to like it. There’s plenty of time to start on new recipes when you get a rhythm going in the kitchen.

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Don’t think about it too much

If you think of meal prep as a chore, or something that you don’t or won’t enjoy, you’re not going to stick to it.

fun

Allocate the time

Come join me instead!

For a good supermarket shop and the cooking and prep time, and don’t double book! I know your friends want you to hang out, but this is YOU time!. and who says they can’t help!

Own it!, reap the rewards and feel great….even if it goes wrong sometimes

There are so many benefits to meal prepping, as long as time is given.

1 good meal won’t make you healthy, just like 1 bad one won’t make you unhealthy either, just keep it to a minimum though, don’t want to go destroying all your hard work!

take on the world

I’ll include some good quick recipes in the next post on Meal Prep.