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Why Coffee And Snoozing Go Hand In Hand

Monday, December 08, 2014

For many of us the afternoon lull is an all too common occurrence.

Whether we are studying hard for an upcoming exam, essay writing, midway through an arduous office task, or just relaxing on the couch in front of daytime television, as we hit the afternoon our eyes begin to droop, our gaze loses focus and we drift off into the land of nod.

How do you deal with the onset of this daily doziness?

Well, traditionally, two of the most common ways of keeping this depletion of energy at bay are taking a ‘power nap’ or having a cup of coffee.

However scientists now believe that it shouldn’t be just one or the other – indeed, according to a recent study, the most effective and efficient way to deal with a lazy afternoon lull is to partake in both a snooze and a cuppa.

Sounds like bliss!


The findings

The report, which was compiled last month by Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Laboratory after tests on a group of 12 individuals, suggests fighting tardiness by taking a cup of coffee right before a power nap.

The findings concluded that drinking a cup of coffee and then immediately taking a 15 minute nap will improve alertness as well as hazard aversion when driving.

Why is the combination so effective?

Taking a nap just after a cup of coffee is effective because caffeine takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes to take full effect.

It is therefore more productive in the long-term to spend this short window conserving energy and napping rather than continuing to be tired and unproductive and just waiting for the effects of the coffee to arrive.

The science

Caffeine molecules work together with adenosine receptors (the hormone that promotes sleepy behaviour in your body) to prevent adenosine from taking effect, thus allowing you to be more alert.

In addition, a nap will enhance your energy levels – so long as the doze does not turn into R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which will leave you feeling groggy.

A short nap (the average time of actual sleep during the study, for example, was 12.4 minutes) has been shown to boost attention levels and cognitive function.

Signing off

So, there we have it, evidence that combining a cup of coffee with a quick power nap is the perfect way to re-energise and kick-start your day!

Make sure you give this coupling a go next time your eyes start to droop at three o’clock in the afternoon – and be sure to let us know here at Cafe2U how you got on!

Did it work a treat or make no difference?

We’d love to hear from you!

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