I first read about the “coffee nap” during my baby’s first sleep regression. Now, we’re in this funky place where he really only naps for one sleep cycle, so 22 minutes. On the button! It’s frustrating. On my home days with my kids, I’ve also got a two-year-old floating around, so I don’t often get this opportunity, but when I can I like to try this coffee nap technique.
Vox.com summarized published studies on both caffeine and sleep. The gist of the coffee nap is that caffeine takes 20 minutes to kick in so you feel the full buzzy effects. Thus, for a coffee nap, you’re supposed to chug a cup of coffee and immediately go to sleep for about 20 minutes. You wake up just as the caffeine kicks in.
According to the article, this technique is more effective than just napping or just drinking the coffee. The tired participants in the studies committed fewer errors in a driving simulator when they took a coffee nap compared to just drinking coffee or just taking a quick nap. This was true whether the participants actually napped for the 20 minutes or just laid in bed with their eyes closed for 15 minutes, resting.
Other study subjects performed better on memory tests after coffee naps.
There isn’t much that takes the edge off of my “mommy tired” other than some delta sleep, but we all know how hard that is to come by. During the span of my toddler’s 2-hour nap, there are at least 20 minutes when my baby takes a snooze. My new go-to method is to down an espresso and lie down on the sofa until he wakes up. I find I’m at least a little less frustrated entering in to the afternoon!
Have you tried the coffee nap? Leave us a comment to share your experience.