Coffee Naps are Better than Coffee or Naps

Vox highlighted some interesting studies that may help me through my continuing tiredness:

If you’re feeling sleepy and want to wake yourself up — and have 20 minutes or so to spare before you need to be fully alert — there’s something you should try. It’s more effective than drinking a cup of coffee or taking a quick nap.

It’s drinking a cup of coffee and then taking a quick nap. This is called a coffee nap.

It might sound crazy: conventional wisdom is that caffeine interferes with sleep. But if you caffeinate immediately before napping and sleep for 20 minutes or less, you can exploit a quirk in the way both sleep and caffeine affect your brain to maximize alertness.

The article goes on to explain how adenosine, the chemical that makes you feel tired following brain activity, is both cleared by sleeping and blocked by caffeine. As long as you don’t sleep for long enough to enter a deep sleep, by the time the caffeine kicks in, you’ll feel even more awake.

It makes a lot of sense, given that caffeine takes about 20 minutes to work, and often when I drink coffee, I’m feeling tired enough that I would take a nap anyway. A clever idea.