When you’re feeling completely drained out and need a boost of energy and alertness, you either rush to the nearest coffee shop guzzling down a cup of coffee or hit the sack for a power nap. Consuming coffee is effective for some hours, but is this the best solution out there in the long run? In this article we share with you which is better to have, a nap or coffee when you’re feeling beat.
When to take a nap
Naps in an overall have more advantages over coffee. They can boost your brain’s learning capacity, improve alertness, and generally improve your brain’s cognitive abilities. Additionally naps do not give you the crash feeling after several hours like coffee does. When this happens, you have to top up with more caffeine to sustain the next few hours.
In a landmark study conducted by the Department of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, taking a nap anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes was found to enhance your performance in perceptual learning, procedural motor skill, and verbal memory considerably more than caffeine. The downside of napping is that, not everyone is gifted the luxury of time to take naps in their daily life. It is proven in a study by Sara Mednick, Ph.D., in the journal Nature Neuroscience, that a power is nap is anywhere between 10-30 minutes. This will still get you a little further than a cup of coffee but if you sleep beyond 30 minutes, not completing a full sleep cycle, you will end up waking up groggy due to sleep inertia. You might succumb to coffee to get rid of grogginess.
When to drink coffee
Without a doubt coffee works wonders for someone in need of physical and mental alertness. It’s a decent alternative to nap and you don’t have to spare 30-90 minutes. A study revealed that people were more physically alert after consuming coffee compared to a nap. If you’re feeling groggy behind the wheels, having coffee is always the better and safest option.
However, limit your daily coffee intake to a max of 400 mg per day for healthy adults as an overdose of caffeine can lead to having irregular heartbeat, hormonal imbalance and dizziness. Severe side effects include seizures, chest pain, hallucinations and trouble breathing.
Why not do “Coffee Naps”
If you want that extra zap of energy and alertness, people are believing that having a coffee before a nap can help you achieve just that. People are calling it the “coffee nap”, where you consume coffee and take a power nap immediately. What happens here is that, coffee takes a good 15 minutes to get absorbed and take effect. Therefore, while you’re resting it out, you’re also experience the benefits of nap. Once awake, the caffeine should have kicked in and you’re totally fresh to power through the day. The effects of coffee naps are more lasting than having coffee or naps alone.