Coffee could be the secret to a perfect power nap

Here’s a story to perk you up: a scientist, experimenting with two of life’s great treats, naps and coffee, has found that if you consume a coffee just before a nap, you can avoid the ever feared drowsiness which comes when you wake.

Traditionally you wouldn’t have thought coffee and having a nap could have gone together. Coffee stops you sleeping, and most people wake from naps feeling groggy – except for those dastardly “morning people”. Coffee is an upper, sleep is a downer and, despite both being awesome – and largely a key part to most people’s lives – they seem diametrically opposed.

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Finally, like the perfect cold brew blend, science has managed to figure it out how to blend together the qualities of each. Daniel Pink, author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, has given due diligence to solving the problem, and his findings have resulted in the “nappuccino”.

Pink notes that caffeine takes roughly 25 minutes to take effect – which is a genuinely handy fact for daily living. For example, when your colleague comes in kicking doors down with tired induced rage, calmly log when they have their coffee and steer clear for another 25 minutes. If they’re still rude after this period, chances are they’re just a difficult character to work with.

Aside from angry colleagues, Pink notes that this window means you have 25 minutes before caffeine enters your bloodstream. This means it won’t influence your sleep during that period. So, says Pink, “down a cup of coffee…set a timer for 25 minutes,” and you’re all good for a power nap.  

The caffeine nap, fantastically named the “nappuccino”, is something Pink recommends repeating regularly. “There’s evidence that habitual nappers get more time from their naps than infrequent nappers”, he explains, “so if you have flexibility, make an afternoon nap a regular ritual.”

Well said, now I’m going to celebrate finishing this article with a coffee…and a nap.

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