There’s a new trend making the rounds with the cool kids in town - the Coffee Nap! Also known as the Caffeine Nap, this new energy booster is helping busy workers, uni students and busy parents stay on the go.

What is a Coffee Nap?

Well, a Coffee Nap is as straight forward as it sounds. It involves drinking coffee, then taking a nap for about 20 minutes. It came about in studies at Loughborough University as a way to avoid driver tiredness.

How does a Coffee Nap work?

Caffeine takes around 20 minutes to kick in and start working, it is absorbed in the small intestine and passes into the bloodstream. Once it crosses into the brain it attaches to receptors that are usually filled by a similarly-shaped molecule called Adenosine. Adenosine is responsible for natural tiredness in our bodies, it combines with receptors to cause drowsiness vby slowing down nerve cell activity. When it is connected with caffeine instead, it speeds up the nerve cells. Sleep naturally clears the brain of Adenosine, meaning you are more energised when you wake up, so bolster that with a shot of coffee and 20 minutes later your raring to go.

How do I take a Coffee Nap?

Simple, find somewhere suitable to sleep, set your alarm to go off in 15-20 minutes time and drink your coffee (if you’re not drinking a quick espresso, don’t set your alarm until after you’re done). Then, kick off your shoes and head to sleep.

But I don’t like Coffee?!

Have no fear! For those who don’t like coffee, caffeine alternatives can be used, so enjoy a red bull or even just some ProPlus instead.

Learn more about the study here: Suppression of sleepiness in drivers: combination of caffeine with a short nap. Reyner LA, Horne JA. Sleep Research Laboratory, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK. Psychophysiology. 1997 Nov;34

Have you tried the Coffee Nap? What did you think? Comment below or find me on Twitter!


Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.