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Drink caffeine before nap to improve alertness, says Cornell professor

Drink caffeine before nap to increase alertness
Drink caffeine before nap to increase alertnessFree image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Two of life’s little pleasures just got the go-ahead from Jim Maas, PhD, and a professor of psychology at Cornell University. According to a report on Health on TODAY dated Oct. 9, Jim Maas, PhD. says drinking a cup of coffee, or other beverage containing caffeine, before taking a 20 minute nap serves double-duty to improve alertness and combat sleepiness and fatigue during the day.

Because it takes approximately 20 minute for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, its effects are just kicking in at the end of a 20-minute nap, he explains. The results? Increased alertness that leaves you feeling refreshed.

According to Maas, naps of longer than 20 minutes leave you feeling groggy. Health Central says naps over 30 to 45 minutes do not relieve fatigue and typically cause grogginess because the body goes into a deeper state of sleep and has difficulty arousing itself in the middle of a sleep cycle.

The exact amount of sleep required for a restorative nap differs, but one thing remains the same. A quick nap, especially combined with a cup of coffee or other beverage with caffeine, just before the nap, revives and energizes you, while longer naps may leave you a bit groggy. Differences among individuals may account for the discrepancy in numbers.

So, go ahead. Drink that much needed cup of coffee when you feel fatigue setting in and catch a quick nap, if you can. However, don’t expect your boss to be installing sofas in the break room for napping any time soon.

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