Introducing the “coffee nap”

How can you make an expression with two totally opposite words?

And no – we’re not talking about no antonyms word game.

The coffee nap just recently flooded the internet after one Japanese study has proven that taking a coffee before making a short nap, between 20 and 40 minutes can actually benefit your brain and memory.

Until now, you (also me) must have been thinking that actually with coffee you’re fighting against the whole napping cycle.

Well, let’s see how it works!

First of all, the caffeine from the coffee passes through the intestines and stomach, getting inside our bloodstream and traveling all the way to the brain(for about 20 minutes), where it’s accepted by a receptor that previously was filled with a simmilar ingredient which our body normally produces. It’s called Adenosine.

This byproduct of our brain triggers tiredness when it’s accumulated high enough. However, caffeine intake prevents that because instead of high levels of Adenosine, caffeine gets inside these receptors of tiredness in our brain, preventing tiredness and sleep to prevail our body.

Here’s why power naps are better than the regular ones – the trick is the 20 minutes!

If you nap longer than 15 or 20 minutes, naturally,  your brain is more likely to enter deeper stages of sleep. When you get up, you need to recover from this long deep sleep and it takes time. But shorter naps generally don’t lead to this so-called “sleep inertia” — and it takes around 20 minutes for the caffeine to get through your gastrointestinal tract and bloodstream anyway.


So if you nap for those 20 minutes, you’ll reduce your levels of Adenosine just in time for the caffeine to kick in. The caffeine will have less Adenosine to compete with from the very beginning, and therefore will be even more effective in making you alert, awake and focused!

It’s like “putting a block of wood under one of the brain’s primary brake pedals.”


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