Have you ever wondered which was better, caffeine or a power nap?  If you’ve ever drank significant quantities of coffee, you probably never thought that we would recommend caffeine and a power nap.

But you would be wrong.

First, you have to know why caffeine even works.

Essentially, caffeine molecules are the same shape as a molecule called adenosine.  When we feel tired, that is adenosine being flooded into our body.  What caffeine does is fill up the adenosine receptors so that our brain is tricked and does not realize adenosine is floating around in our system.

And, voila!  We do not feel tired anymore!

And, what about naps?

Well, an ideal nap that does not cut into REM sleep works because your body clears out adenosine while you nap.

And, voila! We do not feel tired anymore!

When we do not have adenosine plugging itself into brain receptors to make us feel tired, you may have found yourself not wanting to sleep at all.

Thankfully, some researchers thought they would study just that.  It was time people knew once and for all whether caffeine and a power nap could be together at last.

Everything we eat and drink benefits (or hurts) our body once it gets into the bloodstream.  This is not an instantaneous process, even for liquids.

Coffee can take about 30 minutes to really start working its magic filling up those adenosine receptors.

And, do you know what the perfect length power nap just so happens to be? 10-20 minutes.

The reason for the power nap length is because naps shorter than 10 minutes do not really have adequate time to cancel out the adenosine that has been building up.

Also, any longer than 20 minutes and your brain starts going into a deep sleep.

If you wake yourself out of a deep sleep, that is when you feel groggy.  Your body was going into serious repair mode, and when you stopped it early, your mental acuity is not all the way there.  When your mental acuity is not all the way there, you are not going to be performing as well as someone who is not groggy.

But, researchers found that if you drank your coffee in under 10 minutes, then slept for 10-20 minutes, your body got the best of both worlds.  Your body would clear out a good portion of the adenosine first.  Then coffee sweeps in as you are waking up, and fills in the remaining receptors.

And, voila, you are doubly peppy!

Have any of you ever tried this technique of caffeine and a power nap?  I tend to drink a lot of coffee all at once too early in the day to take a nap.  This yields fewer opportunities to try out this coffee and nap combo.

Let us know what you do to keep peppy (aside from subscribing to our coffee and cookie box, that is)

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