Do you get tired in the afternoon? Try having a Nappuccino!
Do you relate to the picture above? If so, here’s a life hack for you!
What are the first two things you think of when you’re tired? I’m going to guess you said coffee and sleep, right?
Well guess what, you can combine the two to rejuvenate and boost your energy when you start getting that afternoon drowsiness. It’s called a coffee nap, but we like to call them a Nappuccino. Combining coffee with sleep may sound a bit crazy or counter-intuitive, but there’s a lot of science behind it and works so long as you do it correctly.
The science behind it
I’m no scientist, but before writing this blog I read through a bunch of articles that have scientific studies to back me up. Unlike a lot of other debatable topics, I struggled to find any articles that claimed that a coffee nap isn’t a good idea!
For those who didn’t know, all humans have a chemical in their brain called adenosine, and this chemical is responsible for that drowsy feeling you get when you’re tired. When you drink coffee, the caffeine binds itself to your brain’s adenosine receptors and blocks them from making you drowsy.
Don’t let this make you think you can substitute coffee for sleep! Caffeine can’t bind itself to all of your receptors and adenosine still invades and takes some of their rightful places. So how else can we clear out some adenosine? By sleeping of course! So, as you can see, having a coffee nap would be far better to give yourself a boost compared to just taking a nap or drinking coffee alone.
How to take a Nappuccino
Now you know the science behind a coffee nap, but the real trick is in the strategy and timing of your coffee intake and nap. I should also mention that this will work best if you have an espresso or long black with no sugar, as sugar can interfere with the quality of your nap. Are you ready to give it a go? Follow the steps below!
1. Figure out when you get drowsy in the afternoon - This will vary depending on when you wake up and when you eat your lunch. It is said that the best time for a quick nap is around 7 hours after waking up. For example, if you wake up at 7:00am, your ideal nap time is 2:00pm
2. Create a peaceful Zen zone - If possible, you want to get as comfortable as possible. Close the door and blinds, turn off your phone and lay on a couch if possible. If you have an eye mask, use it. The comfier the better!
3. Drink your coffee - Do it quickly and be ready to nap as soon as you’re finished! It takes around 20-25 minutes for caffeine to hit your bloodstream and you want it to hit your receptors as you’re waking up from your nap.
4. Set a 20-minute timer - A true power nap should only go for around 20 minutes to boost alertness and mental function. Anything more can result in sleep inertia and leave you feeling worse than before. When you wake up, the caffeine should just be kicking in.
5. Dedicate yourself to the Nappuccino - We all know that routine is best with anything in life, and this is no different. If you consistently take coffee naps, you will get more out of them.
As much as I’d love to have an afternoon nap, it’s not easy to arrange when my days are filled with back to back meetings and a never-ending list of tasks. So, I called on another team member and asked them to be a test dummy. Who could complain about being asked to do that?! Here’s how her experience went:
“I have noticed that around half an hour after eating lunch, usually around the 1:30-2pm mark, I get drowsy, yawn nonstop, my eyes haze over and I struggle to focus and stay awake for the rest of the day. When I heard about this coffee nap hack, I was excited to give it a go. On my lunch break I went home and had gnocchi, then downed a #12 Urban Brew espresso, got into bed, set my timer for 20 minutes and off I went. I was conscious the whole time, but it was still very restful.
As soon as my alarm went off, I got up and went back to work at 2pm, which is usually when I begin to feel drowsy. My usual fuzzy feeling wasn’t there at all and I felt much more rested than I usually do after eating my lunch. I felt more alert and focused and wasn’t falling asleep at my desk for once. I definitely want to try this a few more times to be sure, but my first experience was a success in my eyes!”
What do you think, would you give it a go? Or have you tried it before with success? Let me know in the comments below!