What is coffee nap?

Man sleeping with coffee

Did you know that if you’re feeling sleepy, there is a better way to wake you than dosing to a cup of coffee, or taking a quick nap?

The method is called the coffee nap it’s drinking a cup of coffee, and then taking a quick nap. It sounds weird because it’s a conventional wisdom that caffeine interferes with sleep. But if you drink coffee before napping for 20 minutes or less, you can exploit a quirk in the way both sleep and caffeine affect your brain to maximize alertness.

Here’s the science behind the idea.

After your body absorbs the caffeine through your small intestines and passes into your bloodstream, it crosses into your brain. There, it fits into receptors that are normally filled by a similarly shaped molecule called adenosine.

Adenosine is a byproduct of brain activity, and when it accumulates at high enough levels, it plugs into these receptors and makes you feel tired. But with the caffeine blocking the receptors, it’s unable to do so. As Stephen R. Braun writes in Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine, it’s like “putting a block of wood under one of the brain’s primary brake pedals.”

So if you drink coffee and nap for 20 minutes, you’ll reduce your levels of adenosine. The caffeine will have less adenosine to compete with, and will thereby be even more effective in making you alert.


Scientist observed the effects of coffee naps, and experiments have shown they’re more effective than coffee or naps alone in maximizing alertness. Researchers at Loughborough University in the UK found that when tired participants took a 15-minute coffee nap, they went on to commit fewer errors in a driving simulator than when they were given only coffee, or only took a nap.

here’s another study conducted by a Japanese student where they found that people who took a caffeine nap before taking a series of memory tests performed significantly better on them compared with people who solely took a nap, or took a nap and then washed their faces or had a bright light shone in their eyes. They also subjectively rated themselves as less tired.

“As part of one study, 24 young men went without proper sleep for a 24-hour period, taking only short naps. Twelve of them, who were given just a placebo, performed markedly worse on a series of cognition tests, compared with their baseline scores. Twelve others, who had caffeine before their naps, managed scores roughly the same as their baselines for the entire day.”

In conclusion, a coffee nap is very straightforward, all you have to do is dink your coffee before taking a 20-minute nap.

Black Coffee
Black Coffee

But make sure when you want to do this you need to gulp up your coffee than the usual because you want to give time for yourself to absorb the caffeine through your gastrointestinal tract and enter your bloodstream. And if you are having a hard time finishing up your hot cup of coffee you can drink iced coffee or espresso.

So after you finished gulping up your coffee better yet immediately go to sleep before the caffeine kicks in. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easily — just reaching a tranquil half-asleep stage can be helpful.

Finally, make sure to wake up within 20 minutes, so you don’t enter the deeper stages of sleep and you’re awake when the caffeine is just starting to hit your brain.

Coffee napping is perfect for recharging out the body from tiredness because of work. Once you wake up from your coffee nap you’ll be more alert, and energetic to continue working from the rest of the day.


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