A Coffee Nap Is The Life Hack You Need Before You Go Back To School This Fall

Back-to-school season is quickly creeping up on us, and if you’re a student, that means you’ll soon have to face the rather daunting demand of being alert, awake, and ready to learn at most hours of the day. So, you could just walk around with an IV of caffeine in your arm all day to get by or you could try a little something called a coffee nap. Trust me, a coffee nap is the perfect life hack for your back-to-school woes.

And what, you may ask, is a coffee nap?

Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You have a cup of coffee, and then you lay down and take a nap for about a half hour or so. While it might seem counterintuitive, given that the normal sequence of events is usually sleep then coffee, there really is a bit of science behind the whole thing. And it might just give you the boost of energy you’ll need when you’re hit with that first exam of the semester.

If you can manage to get the timing right, a coffee nap will give you a jolt of caffeine while you simultaneously reap the benefits of a good old-fashioned cat nap.

See, it actually takes a little while before the caffeine really affects you and your level of alertness and energy. Coffee has to be digested through your small intestine, go through your bloodstream, and finally hit the glorious powerhouse that is your brain.

Now, this process takes about 20 minutes.And when it comes totaking a midday snooze, 20 minutes is your target timeline, particularly when you’re looking to put the power in power nap. Anything longer, and you start sinking into a deeper sleep, which causes grogginess and isn’t that good for you.

Plus, the energy boost you get from a coffee nap can help stop your brain from slowing itself down throughout the day as you work.

Part of the reason using your brain during the day makes you groggy while you’re, say, writing that paper on second-wave feminism is because of a depressant chemical your body produces called adenosine. When you’re awake, adenosine builds up every hour, and it promotes sleep.

But caffeine canactually block adenosine from your brain receptors. While your brain is turned off and doing nothing for the half hour of your nap, the caffeine has an uninterrupted opportunity to do its thang. By the time you wake up, your brain is refreshed andpulsing with the va-va-voom of caffeine that coffee-drinkers love and, let’s be real, totally rely on.

Fun fact: Evenair traffic controllers have been capitalizing on this coffee nap trick for a while now. So think of how much good it’ll do you when you have to pull an all-nighter come finals season.

All that being said, it’s worth the reminder that coffee isn’t great for a solid night’s rest. So use your espresso wisely, people. Stick to the occasional coffee nap, and you’ll slay the semester with ease.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/coffee-nap-life-hack-need-go-back-school-fall/2042983/

Scientists agree: Coffee naps are better than coffee or naps alone

Is your napping technique backed up by scientific research? This one is.

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It's counterintuitive, but scientists agree that drinking coffee before napping will give you a stronger boost of energy than either coffee or napping alone. To understand a coffee nap, you have to understand how caffeine affects you. After it's absorbed through your small intestine and passes into your bloodstream, it crosses into your brain. There, it fits into receptors that are normally filled by a similarly shaped molecule called adenosine. Adenosine is a byproduct of brain activity, and when it accumulates at high enough levels, it plugs into these receptors and makes you feel tired. But with the caffeine blocking the receptors, it's unable to do so. Here's the trick of the coffee nap: sleeping naturally clears adenosine from the brain. So if you nap for those 20 minutes, you'll reduce your levels of adenosine just in time for the caffeine to kick in. The caffeine will have less adenosine to compete with, and will thereby be even more effective in making you alert.


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