Napping is truly one of nature’s greatest art forms, a true American invention bursting with our particular brand of patriotic ingenuity. From the “power nap” to the “Sunday afternoon football on the couch nap,” there’s truly nothing better than taking a little snooze in the middle of the day. Except, perhaps, for that first cup of coffee in the morning. Juan Valdez and his Donkey don’t lie, the best part of waking up is Folgers (or some other brand) in your cup. But as long as we’ve been a nation of nappers and coffee drinkers, the question of “which one is better for you?” The battle has raged on for years, but we may finally have an answer.
Turns out, the best thing for you to do is take something called a “Coffee Nap”. Sounds pretty counter-intuitive, no? Drinking caffeine, then going to sleep? That doesn’t sound right at all!
Actually, a “Coffee Nap” is a way of jumpstarting your body and fooling it into giving you more energy. It’s like a life-hack, for your own body!
Here’s how it works: There’s something in your brain called Adenosine that plugs into receptors in your brain in order to make you feel tired. Caffeine fits into some of those receptors in place of some Adenosine in order for you to not feel tired as quickly. Napping/sleeping sweeps the adenosine from your brain. So if you nap for 15-20 minutes right after drinking a cup of coffee, which clears some adenosine, the caffeine will have less adenosine to compete with, and will make you even more awake than you’d normally feel after a cup of coffee.
A number of different studies have shown that people are much more alert when you take a “Coffee Nap”; a British study showed that people who took these naps performed better on a driving simulator over people who did one or the other, and a Japanese study found that people who took coffee naps did much better on memory tests than any other method of rest.
So there you go, folks. Drink a cup of coffee and take a nice nap in your office today. Lock the doors. If you don’t have an office or a door, have a cup of Joe and then take a good, old-fashioned toilet nap. Never fails.