Years ago I read something that totally changed the way I napped. Sometimes, when I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore, I would lay down for a nap, and wake up groggy a couple of hours later. Or, I’d set an alarm for 15 minutes, supposedly the right amount of time for a power nap, and then be jolted awake and feel sleepy for an hour afterwards.
But once I learned about the “caffeine nap” I found that I could lay down for about twenty minutes and wake up totally refreshed. I’ve become a regular caffeine napper, often grabbing one before the kids get home from school.
I saw this tweet today and thought it would be a good time to explain how and why to take a caffeine nap:
So, this is for Cecily and everyone else who, like me, could really use a pick-me-up in the afternoon and isn’t ready to try cocaine.
How to take a Caffeine Nap
Step 1: Drink some caffeine. I’m guessing for most of you that’s coffee (or maybe a Red Bull for Cecily?). For me it’s a Diet Dr Pepper.
Step 2: Set an alarm for 20-25 minutes from now.
Step 3: Sleep.
Here’s what should happen: caffeine takes about 15-20 minutes to start taking effect, so the goal is to have it wake you up before the alarm goes off. You’ll be waking up in stage two (out of four) in the sleep cycle, when you’re not in a really deep sleep yet. That, combined with the caffeine, should keep you from feeling groggy.
Researchers at a British sleep center found that out of all the things you can do when tired and driving, a caffeine nap was the most effective in waking you up. Keep that in mind on your next road trip when your eyelids start to droop.
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