Everyone knows that coffee is rich in caffeine – a natural substance found in coffee grains, tea leaves, etc. Everyone knows that it produces a strong stimulating effect on the brain and body. However, not everyone knows about ‘coffee nap’. You have experienced the ‘strange’ urge to sleep right after a cup of coffee, haven’t you? It is just the right time for what we know as a ‘coffee nap’ – a brief period of sleep, which occurs shortly after you take coffee. Those who know what it is feel less tired and find it an excellent way to boost productivity and performance during the day.
What makes us want to sleep?
To understand the coffee nap trick, here is a little insight into why we sleep. We do because we experience a sleep drive every time we spend another stock of energy that keeps us alert during the day. As we walk, work, jump, run, and do our daily businesses, adenosine accumulates in our brain. Adenosine is a chemical, which makes us want to sleep. It is a leftover from adenosine triphosphate – a substance that fuels cells during the daytime. The longer we stay up, the higher adenosine levels we have in the brain and the sleepier we feel. As we sleep, adenosine goes away, and by morning the brain is almost completely clear of it. If you wake up at midnight, you will feel very drowsy because not all adenosine has cleared away from your brain yet.
How it works
Once caffeine gets to your brain with bloodstream, it blocks receptors, which otherwise are triggered by adenosine and actually make you feel drowsy. It prevents the slowing down of neuronal activity in the brain and keeps it awake. In other words, caffeine molecules replace those of adenosine, stimulate your brain cells, and give you a boost. During this time, you feel an onrush of energy, and your cognitive abilities improve significantly.
Wonder why sleep for 15 to 20 minutes right after drinking it? It is simple! The 15 to 20 minutes is just the time it takes for caffeine to get into your intestinal tract and into the blood. So, if you have had a cup of sweet and aromatic coffee, please, do not expect caffeine to start working right away. You have time to take a little nap and thus prepare for further work. The brief siesta will crank you up for the rest of the day, and maybe you will surpass your own expectations!
Recent research has proved that a ‘coffee nap’ can boost performance in various spheres like learning and driving, as well as other activities, which require concentration and high cognition.
Caffeine acts during a limited period of time. Therefore, if you oversleep, you may miss the right moment. It is advisable to set an alarm clock to wake you up after 20 or, at most, 25 minutes. At this point, caffeine will start working in your brain, and it is the time when the effect is more pronounced.
It is easy!
As you can see, it does not sound like a challenge. If you realize that you are nodding off and cannot do your work properly, find a quiet nook, get a cup of coffee, and make yourself comfortable. A twenty-minute break is much healthier and more helpful in completing your business than struggling with it all day long without actually moving a step forward!