Caffeine Nap: Truth or Hoax?

A natural stimulant found in coffee is usually advised to avoid before bedtime as it assists in keeping you awake. But many advocate the idea of a caffeine nap.

A caffeine nap is the idea of drinking a cup of coffee after waking up from afternoon sleep. A caffeine nap can help you avoid the pressure of falling asleep during the day. A caffeine nap can increase alertness and concentration and decrease afternoon crashes. It may be hard to get out of bed in the afternoon, but recent studies have shown that caffeine naps improve alertness performance and reduce fatigue. You’ll feel refreshed and have more energy throughout the day. It’s a great way to avoid the drowsiness caused by caffeine. Taking a caffeine nap should be limited to twenty minutes, and it should be as strong as 200 mg of caffeine. 

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How Does Caffeine Nap Work?

The Background Research on Which Caffeine is Based

The Background of Caffeine Nap explains how the stimulant acts on a natural compound that induces sleepiness in humans. Adenosine is a byproduct of the human body’s primary energy source that helps us fall asleep. The usual accumulation of adenosine in the brain is the biological mechanism that causes us to feel sleepy. The presence of caffeine in the brain increases adenosine levels, which induces a feeling of sleepiness.

The effects of a caffeine nap were first seen in the 1980s. In one study, 61 young men were trained to go without sleep for 24 hours. Twelve were given a placebo and given a cup of decaffeinated coffee. The group that received a cup of caffeine did better on several tasks requiring verbal memory, motor skills, and perceptual learning. The group that took the caffeine remained the same at the end of the experiment, indicating that the caffeine naps helped them stay awake longer with a functional and active mind. 

The research concluded that caffeine naps could help us perform better and help in muscle relaxation, but there is no alternative to proper sleep to help your brain perform better. The sleep we get increases the brain’s efficiency and reduces our risk of accidents, obesity, and diabetes. And they have several other advantages. Among them are The increased focus and performance of a person who is able to concentrate more.

The Rationale of a Caffeine Nap

To induce sleep, your brain releases adenosine. The body uses adenosine as a signal to calm nerve cells and promote sleep. Caffeine works by binding to adenosine receptors in the brain and inhibiting the messenger’s effects. This allows caffeine to bind to A1 receptors and prevent the delivery of adenosine messages.

While the caffeine in a coffee nap helps you relax, it does not block adenosine. It cannot completely block adenosine, but caffeine binds to the same receptors in the brain as adenosine does. This results in the reduction of adenosine in the body. This is why caffeine is a popular remedy for sleeplessness.

The optimal length of a coffee nap is twenty minutes. Anything longer than this tends to result in the inertia of sleep, making it harder to fall asleep. A caffeine nap should be no more than 20 minutes for these reasons. The longer a caffeine nap is, the less effective it is. 

So, make sure to take a caffeine nap if you have an early bedtime.

Caffeine is a potent adenosine-blocking agent. The caffeine in coffee is a potent antioxidant and can help fight off the harmful effects of adenosine. It also positively impacts brain health and makes a person feel more alert. This helps in the reduction of adenosine in the brain.

The Other Conflicting Research

The caffeine nap concept is based on the effects of the naturally occurring compound adenosine on the brain. Adenosine is involved in sleepiness and our desire to sleep. The accumulation of this compound in the brain causes us to feel sleepy. Taking caffeine after going to bed can help you get more sleep. However, it is crucial to time your caffeine nap correctly. A coffee nap should last around 15 to 20 minutes, and anything longer than that will not be as effective.

However, a later study conducted in the year 2008 by the University of California San-Diego found conflicting results and did not enforce the findings of the last experiment. It involved 61 adults between the age group of 18 and 39. They were given 200 mg of caffeine or placebo after 60 to 90 minutes of nap for sleeping well, and their mental status was noted before and after the nap; the findings were really surprising.

The resultant findings established that

  • Verbal recalling between both the caffeine-induced and placebo groups was the same
  • Perpetual learning between the caffeine-induced and placebo groups was the same
  • Caffeine, instead of improving, impaired motor skills due to jitteriness caused by two cups of coffee

However, it can be stated that there is also a limitation to the findings of the research as a 60 to 90 minutes caffeine-induced sleep will shove the person into slow-wave delta sleep that usually makes people feel groggy, relatively active, and refreshed.

  • Comparing the evidence

A caffeine nap is most effective when the duration is 20 minutes. A caffeine nap is less effective if the person sleeps for more than 20 minutes. For optimal results, a caffeine-rich drink should be taken within one hour. When taken in excess, caffeine can cause dependence. Those who drink excessive coffee will have a more difficult time adjusting to their new lifestyle. If you are at the office, install a twin bunk bed there to get a proper nap.

Caffeine is a potent adenosine-blocking agent. The caffeine in coffee is a potent antioxidant and can help fight off the harmful effects of adenosine. It also positively impacts brain health and makes a person feel more alert. This helps in the reduction of adenosine in the brain.


A caffeine nap can increase energy levels and make you sleepy. It is also very much essential to know when to take a caffeine nap. A coffee nap increases the availability of caffeine receptors in the brain. If taken right, a coffee nap can boost your energy level and make you feel more rested during the day. This can also increase a person’s energy. It’s a supplement that helps a person reduce adenosine while he is awake.

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