Ah, the infamous coffee nap… we mentioned it in our previous blog post ‘How to use caffeine strategically’ and we thought that it deserved its own standalone article.
If you’ve never heard of it before, a coffee nap is a 90s era #lifehack and involves waiting until you get tired, drinking some caffeine, then immediately taking a 15-20 minute nap. The caffeine takes a while to absorb into your bloodstream and reach the brain. During your light sleep, the brain clears out the adenosine. When you wake up, the receptors are clear, and the caffeine has just shown up. You’re fresh, recharged, and ready to go.
But this useful way to get through your afternoon slump is not without its detractors. Some see it as indicative of our “cult of overwork”, where we’d rather be the most optimised productive version of ourselves than actually paying attention to our biological cues. One particularly exasperated ABC writer pondered, “corporations have always prioritised profit over people and no amount of nappuccinos will make that easier to swallow.” We’ve been reflecting on the value of work-life balance lately, so we see his point, but some people just don’t have the choice to think like this.
If your job requires you to be alert for the safety of yourself and others, or if you work shift work and can’t feasibly live according to your natural circadian rhythm, a coffee nap could be a highly effective way for you to power through the day. Our new app PeakAlert actually helps you manage your caffeine intake so that you are using it at the optimum time for your health and productivity. If pairing it with a nap could make it all the more effective, then why not?
What do you think of the coffee nap? Has it worked for you?