How to Take a Caffeine Nap

Here's a cool mind hack for you

Caffeine and napping seems like a counter intuitive concept.  Isn't caffeine supposed to keep you awake?  True, but read on to find out why scientists recommend this mind hack.

The idea of the "caffeine power nap" is to have a coffee, or similarly caffeinated beverage, before your nap.  By the time the caffeine has kicked in, you will either be fast asleep or just waking up.

How much sleep did you miss last night?  Feeling a little low on energy? Without 7-8 hours of sleep each night, you won't hit your peak performance. A nap during the afternoon can help boost your energy levels when they are usually at their lowest levels. A power nap can help reduce stress, increase focus on concentration and help you become more productive.

So onto the concept of Caffeine Naps

Caffeine takes around 20 minutes to have an affect on your body and absorption will be complete in around 45 minutes.  This means,  If you fall asleep right after taking caffeine, it won't hinder your ability to sleep.    The perk is (quite literally) a reduced sense of drowsiness and a heightened state of alertness when you wake up.

To test out the theory of the "caffeine nap", sleep researchers at the Loughborough University gave subjects caffeine which was immediately followed by a power nap.  These subjects out performed those who were given a placebo before taking a power nap, on a driving simulation.

Of course taking a power nap with caffeine will require some discipline.  If you don't end up napping after the caffeine, you're probably going to end up more tired than before.

Personally I've had positive results having caffeine before taking a nap.  I experimented with different forms - green tea, black tea, red bull and coffee.  I found the latter two seem to be the most effective.  This is most likely due to the fact that the caffeine in tea is released  differently into the body.  The caffeine "high" from tea is said to be less intense but longer lasting.

I'm going to be experimenting with different forms of stimulants (sugars, guarana etc.) to see if they can be used effectively as well.  And because I'm a data freak, I've been taking reaction tests after each nap to test things out.  These will all be released in a coming post.