Are Coffee Naps The Best of Both Worlds?

coffee napsFor years, the best way to combat afternoon lulls was to take a quick power nap, or to drink a cup of coffee.

While both of these options are better than an energy drink-fueled alternative, which one is better?

Why not both?

Sleep scientists used to preach naps over coffee. But it turns out you can get more bang for your buck if you combine naps and coffee!

Read on to learn more about caffeine naps and how they can increase your productivity.

Benefits of Coffee Naps:

Many people avoid afternoon naps to avoid feeling groggy afterwards. By drinking coffee before a nap, you can avoid this post-nap grogginess and actually wake up “zinging” with caffeine. This works because it takes about twenty minutes for caffeine to hit your system.

By combining coffee and a quick 20-minute nap you get the restorative benefits of a nap and the increased energy benefits of caffeine.

The Science Behind Coffee Naps

A coffee power nap is a great way to increase energy and productivity during your day because of how it boosts your brain.

When caffeine gets absorbed into your bloodstream it kickstarts your brain. It does this by neutralizing receptors that normally cause drowsiness, the main one being Adenosine.

Adenosine slows down your brain’s activity, which makes you feel sleepy. when caffeine neutralizes Adenosine, the reverse happens… You become full of energy and focus (1).

How To Take A Coffee Nap:

  1. Drink a cup of coffee (iced or hot, doesn’t matter). Just make sure to drink it quickly!
  2. Find a comfortable napping place.
  3. Set a timer for about 15-20 minutes
  4. Nap
  5. Wake up and start getting things done!

What If I Have A Hard Time Napping?

Taking a nap in the middle of the day can be a tough switch to make if you aren’t used to napping. In fact, trying to fall asleep can take 15-20 minutes for most people – much less napping for that amount of time!

Have no worries, you don’t have to be in deep sleep to obtain the benefits of a coffee nap. Research has shown that “nonsleep dozing” was just as effective as taking a full-on nap (2).

So, even if you have a hard time falling asleep in a short amount of time, know that the simple act of relaxing and getting light sleep can benefit your body.


In conclusion, go ahead and try a caffeine nap! See if it works for you. It might be the thing you need to increase your afternoon productivity.

Daniel Powers is a health fanatic, writer, and entrepreneur. Obsessed with optimizing every aspect of life, he writes about sleep and how sleep aids can boost overall sleep quality.

1. Caffeine and Adenosine.
2. Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap.