What is a Coffee Nap? How Long Should a Coffee Nap Be?

What is a Coffee Nap? How Long Should a Coffee Nap Be?

Written by Dreamcloud Editorial Team

Last Updated on Aug 04, 2022

In this article:

    Coffee and nap is a completely counterproductive combination. Then what is a coffee nap? Sometimes a cup of coffee is exactly what you need before a quick nap. We often feel fatigued but have too much on our plate. Gulping a cup of coffee before a nap of 20 minutes or so will pump up your energy levels. Research states that this is possible because of the presence of adenosine in caffeine, that aids in peaceful sleep. Let us unravel more about how a coffee power nap will act as an energy booster.

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    What is a caffeine nap?

    A caffeine nap or coffee nap is consuming coffee and instantly lying down for a 20 minutes nap.  The napping duration shouldn’t surpass 20 minutes, otherwise, it might risk you going to deep sleep. And, that will further lead to a dazed feeling and discredit all the usefulness you would otherwise have experienced. If, in any case, you are time bound and unable to opt for a 20 minutes nap, 15 minutes will also do.

    Efficacy of Coffee Naps: What Scientific Studies Say

    The concept of a caffeine power nap tends to be promising. Moreover, certain researchers and scientists have worked on the fact that a coffee nap is more effective than either a coffee or a nap alone. Though the number of studies conducted behind finding if drinking coffee before sleep is actually fruitful, the results have all been positive to date.

    One study was conducted on 12 sleep individuals who consumed 200 mg of caffeine, followed by a power nap of 15 minutes. After they were seated on a driving simulator for two hours, 91% of the time, those people experienced less sleepiness than those who didn’t have a coffee nap. Moreover, even if they didn't sleep during that period and just stayed half-asleep, this will hold valid.  


    Another study was conducted on 10 young healthy adults where a coffee nap resulted in developing their computer tasks. Again, this would not have been possible if undergone a normal nap, or a nap followed by exposure to radiant light, a nap followed by face washing, or even after no nap at all.

    How to Take a Coffee Nap

    Since the effectiveness of a coffee nap is quite high, let us check out how to sleep after caffeine. 

    how to take a coffee nap

    • Grab a Cup of Coffee

    In a coffee nap, the coffee doesn’t include the regular sugar and milk or cream. It is solely the coffee that will be beneficial. The addition of sugar in the coffee before nap might result in an energy spike instantly and a crash after some time. On the other hand, milk or cream might result in indigestion and affect sleep quality.

    This caffeine power nap requires the person to consume the coffee quickly. Therefore, if you are more of a sipping person, go for an espresso. You need to consume 200 milligrams of coffee which results in one to two cups of coffee that efficiently fuels the energy.  

    • Find a Comfortable Place

    In the next step of knowing about a coffee power nap, find yourself a cozy and dark place to experience an uninterrupted 20 minutes of sleep. Sleeping in a similar ambiance helps foster fatigue. If you are at school or the workplace, then find a place in the car or library or maybe an unused room. 

    • Set Your Alarm

    One very important step is to wake up right after 20 minutes and not extend the sleeping time. To help with this activity, set your alarm at high volume for 15 or 20 minutes - depending on the time you have in hand. Remember to set your alarm for 20 minutes, even if you have an extended break for half an hour or more. 

    • Take Your Nap

    Last step of drinking coffee before sleeping is ultimately to relish the coffee nap. Lie down, and try to rest. Even if you cannot completely sleep, don’t be overwhelmed, lightly dozing off will also bring similar positive results.

    Duration of a Coffee Nap

    The whole fact about a coffee nap depends greatly on the duration of sleep. Brief nap times of 15 to 20 minutes are enough for the coffee to disintegrate and get delivered to your brain. Napping for those 15 to 20 minutes will help clear the adenosine from the brain, and let the coffee settle down in your brain receptors more effectively. 

    Another reason behind setting your alarm for only 20 minutes during a coffee nap is to risk going into a deep sleep. Once you suddenly wake up from a state of deep sleep, you might feel groggy. 

    Best Time Of The Day For A Coffee Nap 

    Many of us experience a fall in energy level during mid-days, and that is the perfect time for a coffee nap. But, if you feel fatigued during the morning, proceed with your coffee nap then. But, the only thing to consider here is not consuming caffeine before bedtime. It is generally recommended to consume it 6 hours before bedtime.

    Benefits & Limitations of Coffee Naps

    Drinking coffee before sleep has certain benefits and limitations. 

    Benefits:

    • Increase in efficiency and energy levels
    • No drowsiness post waking up
    • Improved performance in computer tasks
    • Great way to boost energy during the afternoon slump

    Limitations:

    • Mixing sugar or added flavors in the coffee might reduce the effectiveness of a coffee nap
    • Though excessive caffeine intake might lead to restlessness, muscle tremors, anxiety, 
    • Consumption of caffeine in less than 6 hours of bedtime might affect sleep quality

    Does Coffee Nap Have the Same Effects as Power Nap? 

    Considering all the aforementioned facts about a coffee nap, it can be concluded that alone coffee or a nap will not render such effectiveness. From all the studies stated above, the alertness level has increased in both cases.  Whereas, a power nap is 10 to 30 minutes of sleep especially during the afternoon when there is a dip in the circadian rhythm. The advantages of a coffee nap undoubtedly outweigh that of a power nap. 

    A coffee nap can be a really leisurely and practical way to raise the energy level. Someone who doesn’t have much time to relax and needs an instant energy spike will prefer a coffee nap to a power nap.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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