Naps vs coffee have something in common, and that is both can leave you refreshed and alert and boost your performance. Whether it is working, driving or studying, or whatever activity it is, coffee gives you a zap of energy. While it has always been thought that having a cup of joe can keep you alert, and there is an ongoing debate on “Is Caffeine Good or Bad For Adults”, coffee naps are trending these days. So what are these coffee naps exactly? Read below to find out more about them:
What are Coffee Naps?
When it comes to naps vs coffee, they do not go together, or does it? As per many, it does. A coffee nap is exactly what it reads, have a cup of coffee and then take a snooze. When you doze off immediately after having your caffeine, this short sleep gives you a zest of energy and can improve performance and alertness. These coffee naps should not be more than 30 minutes, so that means you are waking up just as the caffeine has started to do its job. The result of this is that thanks to coffee naps, you are well-rested and ready for the rest of the day.
How do Coffee Naps Work?
Now that you know what coffee naps are, it is important to understand how it works and how the body processes them. When you have them, the caffeine remains in the stomach for some time before it moves to the small intestine. The caffeine gets absorbed from the small intestine and then distributed to the other parts of the body. This absorption process takes about 45 minutes.
Though the absorption time is longer, the effect of the caffeine kicks in about 30 minutes after drinking coffee, so drinking coffee just before a nap does not interfere with your sleep as the body is not hit with caffeine as yet. When you wake up from a short nap of 20 to 30 minutes, the caffeine experience happens, and it becomes pronounced even after a few hours as it remains in the bloodstream for 4 to 5 hours. This effect of the caffeine gives you added energy after you wake up and help you power through the rest of the day.
The Science Behind the Coffee Naps
When it comes to discussion between naps vs coffee, both provide energy but differently. Coffee is considered a stimulant, and when you drink anything which contains caffeine, it gets absorbed in the small intestines and passed to the bloodstream. Since coffee is fat and water-soluble, it gets dissolved in the cell membranes and enters the brain through the blood-brain barrier.
The caffeine resides in the brain cell receptors, which are meant for adenosine (a chemical neuromodulator). When in large quantities, this adenosine can lead to lethargy and tiredness. Since caffeine is structurally similar to adenosine, it sits in the brain and competes with adenosine.
Naps remove adenosine from the brain naturally. So if you nap for about 20 to 30 minutes after gulping your coffee, you are getting rid of the adenosine and making way for the caffeine to take its place and go to the brain cell receptors. The competing adenosine is removed in coffee naps when your nap, and caffeine get more space in the brain and increase alertness. So in the naps vs coffee race, your brain is the winner as it becomes alert!.
What Should be the Coffee Nap Time?
Timing is critical in coffee nap time. If you want to get the advantages of both nap and coffee instead of a nap v/s coffee, the coffee nap time should be between 15 to 20 minutes. If the coffee nap time is more than that, it loses its edge and is not that effective.
The process of coffee disintegration and getting into the brain takes about 20 minutes, and then the body gets the effect of coffee. So before that, you should quickly map and clear adenosine from the brain and allow room for caffeine in your brain receptors. The presence of caffeine improves your performance for the remaining part of the day.
Another reason for the coffee nap time to not be more than 20 minutes is that your body takes the same amount of time to get into a deeper sleep, and if you had to wake up from that stage, you would feel disoriented and groggy. However, when you sleep for 20 minutes, you wake up before the deep sleep stage and feel refreshed from the coffee naps.
How to Take Coffee Naps?
Now with the knowledge of what are coffee naps and how it works in the body, the next question that pops to mind is how to take them? For those who like to sip their coffee slowly and enjoy it, then that is not the way to go about it. The ideal way is to gulp down the coffee so that you finish the drink before it caffeine affects you. Drinking hot coffee in a gulp is not possible; opt for gourmet cold coffee. To get the best benefits, avoid milk, cream, or sugar. Black coffee is also an option to maximise the benefits. You can also get the same effect with soda, energy drinks, or tea but ensure it has the caffeine effects.
Once you have your coffee shots, set your alarm for 20 minutes; now, find a relaxed, peaceful and comfortable spot, close your eyes and take a nap. Even if you have a partial nap, your body can still reap the benefits of coffee naps.
Are Coffee Naps Bad For You?
No, it is worth a try if you feel tired during the day and if your schedule allows it. Also, there is no conclusive answer to Is Caffeine Good or Bad For Adults as there are many advantages of caffeine on health. So if you load up on coffee throughout the day and find it harder to sleep. Try coffee naps and find the answer to are coffee naps bad for you?
There are a few caveats if you have a sensitive stomach, or sensitive to stimulants or have IBS then the answer to are coffee naps bad for you is yes.
So now you know what are coffee naps and are whether coffee naps bad for you or not. Remember to not try this later in the day. Generally, whatever the verdict on Is Caffeine Good or Bad For Adults, one thing is for sure, not to have it at least a few hours before bedtime. Also, coffee naps mean having a cup of coffee and not a whole pot. The coffee nap time is also 20 to 30 minutes and not hours of siesta! Also read Deep Sleep Stages Benefits, Requirements Tips Restful Sleep
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.