The Startling Connection between Caffeine and Sleep

The Startling Connection between Caffeine and Sleep

( – Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages, especially when an energy boost is needed. This is because coffee contains caffeine! Each cup of coffee contains 95-200 mg of caffeine. Most people reach for a cup of coffee when feeling tired and fatigued in the middle of the day. Research has shown that consuming coffee helps combat tiredness and lack of focus. Typically, sleep is not associated with coffee consumption, but it has now been proven that a perfectly timed power nap after drinking a cup of coffee will provide more benefit than coffee or a nap alone.

There is science behind this theory. A chemical in the brain called adenosine is responsible for the feeling of tiredness. Adenosine and caffeine are similarly structured, competing for a place in the brain. Napping helps remove adenosine which makes room for more caffeine. Studies have shown that taking a caffeine power nap can improve focus and wakefulness in shift workers and drivers.

Caffeine naps only work if timed properly. The amount of caffeine is important as well. The equivalent of a double espresso or a 12-ounce cup of coffee is ideal (200 mg.) Drink the coffee quickly since it takes almost an hour to enter the bloodstream and cause a stimulant effect.

The length of the nap is also crucial. Only take 20 minutes to rest, even if you don’t fall asleep. A 20-minute power nap is precisely enough time to remove the adenosine, making space for caffeine in the brain. Any longer than 20 minutes will interrupt a deeper sleep cycle causing a groggy and drowsy feeling upon waking.

It is best to have a caffeine power nap at midday, after lunch. Night shift workers should have their coffee and short rest during what would be the middle of their day, after the meal eaten for lunch. Those who struggle with a midday crash can now benefit from the perfectly timed caffeine power nap.

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