There are two ways to perk up if the midday slump is kicking in – a cup of coffee or a nap.
Napping is an art form and one that, when mastered, can take you from useless and grumpy to happy and productive in as little as 20 minutes, while coffee is the drink of the gods and the only thing keeping most of us going throughout the workday.
Both can be effective, but even more so, if they are combined.
I know, it sounds counterintuitive. Combining caffeine, which is supposed to wake you up, with a nap doesn’t make sense, and that’s where science comes in to clear things up.
It’s called the ‘coffee nap’ and Vox is here to break down why and how it works.
The first step is understanding how caffeine affects you. Once it has been absorbed through your small intestine and passes into your bloodstream, it crosses into your brain where the magic happens.
It fits into receptors, that are normally filled with a similarly shaped molecule called adenosine, which when accumulated at high levels makes you sleepy. Replace adenosine with caffeine and you’re back in business.
The problem is that caffeine has to do a battle royale with adenosine, and only manages to fight a few of the molecules out so that it can take their place.
Enter a 20-minute nap, which naturally clears adenosine from the brain, making more room for caffeine.
As The Washington Post points out, caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in, so if you’re power napping for those 20 minutes, you’re paving the way for your cup of coffee to give you optimal results when you wake up.
If you’re keen to join the coffee nap revolution, here’s how to go about it.
Step One: Select the right coffee
If you’re going to drink coffee, and make it an important part of your daily routine, drink good coffee.
I’m loving Terbodore Coffee Roasters’ Lazy Bones Blend at the moment. It combines expertly roasted beans from Malawi Mzuzu, Brazil Santos, and Ethiopia Lekempti.
More importantly, it went with this guy up a mountain, so I’m willing to bet that if it can do all of that, then it’s going to do wonders for the workday.
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If Lazy Bones isn’t for you, you’ll find an extensive range of other, premium coffee options here.
Step Two: Drink the coffee
It’s pretty straightforward. Brew your coffee in your preferred way and knock it back.
The trick is to drink it quickly, to give yourself a decent length window of time to sleep while it’s going through your gastrointestinal tract and entering your bloodstream.
Step Three: Go to sleep
Set an alarm for 20 minutes, and doze off. You don’t have to go into a deep sleep, as even a tranquil half-sleep will do the trick.
And voilà – you have achieved the perfect coffee nap.
Practice makes perfect, so here’s hoping you manage to master the art.
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