Feeling Sleepy? Maybe You Need a Cup of Coffee!


Man Napping on Park Bench

After dropping the kids off at school, you arrive back home to start your workday. While attempting to type a report for a client, you feel yourself getting sleepier by the minute. Immediately, you walk to the kitchen to pour yourself a third cup of morning coffee. If you can relate to this common phenomena, you might want to saunter over to the sofa for a nap instead of downing that extra cup of java.

A research study compiled by the Department of Psychology at the University of California in San Diego suggests taking a nap, rather than drinking an additional cup of coffee, is a better way to improve three memory processes. These memory processes include:

  • Perceptual learning
  • Procedural motor skills
  • Declarative verbal memory 

The study compares taking a 60 to 90 minute nap to consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine. While the nap is the clear winner, combining a siesta with a serving of coffee is not a bad idea either. Actually, some scientific research implies enjoying a cup of coffee before indulging in a quick nap is believed to enhance your attentiveness better than napping alone. The reason for this anomaly is adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical compound that collects in your brain during awake time and dispenses during sleep. This chemical compound is responsible for the drowsy feeling that renders you unproductive. Caffeine’s alertness enhancing effects typically occur around 30 minutes after you consume it. By taking a quick nap directly after drinking a cup of coffee, you will reduce the amount of adenosine in your brain. Therefore, when you awaken, the caffeine will have a more pronounced effect on your level of alertness.

Completing daily tasks at a high level is difficult when you’re sleepy. Whenever you begin to yawn uncontrollably, consider stopping whatever you’re doing in order to take a short nap. To increase the effects of your slumber, you might want to drink some coffee before dozing off.

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