Coffee naps

Coffee naps

Coffee Naps-What’s the Science?

Regular napping has been shown to increase cognitive performance, boost mood and deliver an extra hit of energy to fight against afternoon crashes. However, there’s a new form of napping gaining popularity- coffee naps. Although coffee and sleep don’t particularly match up in people’s minds with a restorative sleep- when combined with a quick power nap, the combination of caffeine and dozing can make for a great energy boost.

First, it’s important to look at how caffeine effectively works in the body. When we drink coffee it is absorbed into our bloodstream, kickstarting our energy levels through blocking the sleep causing hormone Adenosine. If we sleep during this process, the adenosine is naturally cleared away, meaning the caffeine can replace it! The handy thing with 20 minute coffee naps is that it takes just 20 minutes for this process to occur, meaning that if you wake up after a quick doze- your mind is pretty much cleared of sleep hormones- giving you an energy boost- and a relatively clear head. There is one issue with coffee naps however, the timings need to be correct. Slip into deep sleep after 20 minutes and you could wake up feeling pretty groggy and sluggish. It’s best to set an alarm as soon as you drink the coffee, find a quiet corner in the office and have a doze!

Here are a few facts on coffee naps – if you’d like to give them a go!

 • Coffee naps can be great for an afternoon energy burst, especially if you’ve hit the afternoon slump. You don’t have to fall completely asleep, as long as you’ve got somewhere to just have a quiet lie down for 20 minutes, you’re bound to wake up feeling fresh.

• Studies have shown that coffee naps are more cognitive enhancing than normal naps alone, with subjects scoring higher on memory tests and stating they were less tired after a coffee nap- in comparison to a caffeine free snooze.

• Although coffee naps should only be restricted to 20 minutes, if you struggle to fall asleep fast, scientists advise that even a few minutes of restful dozing has the same restorative affects!

• Of course, coffee naps should not really be used in replacement of a restful night’s sleep, but they can have their benefits.

• Just 20 minutes of napping in the day can make up for one hour of sleep during the night, add caffeine to the mix and coffee naps can be pretty great!

Catching Sleep

Catching Sleep

Can You Catch Up On Lost Sleep?

Turns out weekend snoozing is not the answer…

Unfortunately, studies have shown that sleeping in for an extra 1-2 hours during the weekend does not actually catch up on sleep lost during the week. The main reason that this fails is linked to something called sleep debt. As we miss hours throughout the week, they add up, meaning that by the weekend we could be totaling around eight hours of missed sleep, that’s four hours extra for both Saturday and Sunday! Even if you do achieve sleeping for those extra hours, your whole sleep schedule has been completely thrown off, meaning that you’re more likely to struggle to head to bed on Sunday evening… It’s definitely an endless cycle…

So, what’s the best way to clean up sleep debt?

The best way to clean up any sleep debt acquired during the week is to start slow and steady. Even heading to bed around 10-15 mins earlier each night can make a real difference and will mean that you’ll have no sleep debt come the weekend! Struggle to head to bed at an earlier time?

Clean up your sleep hygiene routine.

Heading to bed earlier can be achieved through a variety of activities, from a hot bath through to self care, lavender pillow spray and reading a book.

It’s also super important to keep your sleep environment clean, tidy and fresh. Leaving the window open at night can have a cooling affect on your body which can naturally encourage sleep whilst there are plenty of apps out there that you can try in order to encourage sleep at an easier time.

Cracking a sleep schedule is the most affective way to avoid sleep debt and the best way to create a sleep routine!

What if you do end up with sleep debt come the weekend?

Although this might not be brilliant to hear, if you end up with a lot of sleep debt come the weekend, it’s probably best to still get up at the usual time on both Saturday and Sunday. Waking up as usual will mean that you’ll head to bed at an early time come the end of the weekend due to natural tiredness!

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