‘Coffee Naps’ Just Might Change Your Life
The words “coffee” and “nap” don’t usually go together. But a strategy that pairs the two actually makes sense—and could be the energy boost you need to make it through a crazy day.
A coffee nap is exactly what it sounds like: You drink a cup of joe, then immediately take a snooze. While this may seem counterintuitive, the caffeine in coffee doesn’t kick in for about 30 minutes, so dozing off just after you drink your java is very possible. And that short sleep will provide its own energy punch: Power naps have been shown to improve alertness and performance.
The ideal coffee nap is 30 minutes long, which means you’re waking up just as the caffeine starts to work its magic. The result: You feel both rested and stimulated.
There have actually been a few small studies that support the concept. Research published back in 1997 in the journal Psychophysiology, for example, found that sleepy adults who combined 200 mg of caffeine (twice the amount in 8 ounces of brewed coffee) and then took a nap performed better on a simulated driving test compared to people who only got the caffeine and a placebo.
Another study published in Clinical Neurophysiology in 2003 divided 10 young adults into five experimental groups, each of which tried a different intervention in the middle of computer tasks. One group took a 20-minute nap. Another had 200 mg of caffeine plus a nap. Other participants took a nap and then washed their faces, or were exposed to bright light immediately after waking. And a fifth group simply rested. The most effective performance-boosting strategy? You guessed it: caffeine plus nap.