New studies show that drinking coffee and then taking a quick nap, or a “coffee nap,” actually works to energize your brain.
Contrary to the popular belief, there is a way to mix coffee and napping without disrupting your sleep cycle. Here’s how it works.
Caffeine takes a little while to hit your brain after you drink it. You start by drinking a cup of coffee quickly and then you try to take a short 20-minute nap. In 20 minutes, you don’t fall fully asleep, but you prime your brain for a coffee buzz.
That buzz feeling comes when caffeine fills your adenosine receptors; adenosine is a chemical byproduct of brain activity. To get it to work, your receptors have to be free of adenosine first, hence the nap. Clearing your mind for a 20-minute nap clears your receptors of adenosine and leaves them open for caffeine. By the end of your nap, your mind is clear, hopefully buzzed, and energized.
The next time you feel fatigued, down a cup of coffee, nap to clear your mind, and thank science for such a wonderful discovery.