Better Napping Through Coffee
adenosine receptors, and the caffeine is doing its work just as you're coming out of a light sleep. These results have been borne out in controlled scientific studies, wherein some subjects got only coffee, or only a nap; others got a decaf placebo (which borders on cruelty, if you ask us); and another group got regular coffee and a nap. When given cognitive tasks, the coffee-and-a-nap group outperformed their counterparts, and they also reported feeling much better than the other participants who'd been deprived of either the coffee or the nap. The latter measure is a bit more subjective, but the results -- in both cases -- are telling nonetheless. A couple of other findings emerged. For one thing, participants were helped even when they didn't fall fully asleep for the fifteen-minute period. For another, the higher caffeine content of coffee was found to be more effective than the comparatively lower doses found in tea or most sodas. With all that said, what's the best way to take your napuccino? For starters, make sure you have enough time to nap. Drink your coffee quickly. It can be nice to linger over your coffee and savor it, but in this case, time is of the essence. Dawdle over your coffee and the caffeine will be doing its work too early to help you. Next, go to sleep. If you don't sleep, don't fret; even a sleepy or meditative state will be a big help. Finally, wake up within fifteen to twenty minutes (set an alarm to be on the safe side). It really is that simple, and that effective. So the next time you feel droopy in the afternoon, don't despair. Your choices just got much easier. You don't have to choose between a nap and a coffee. You can have both, and now you have the scientific proof to back you up.