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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