Sweet Dreams and Caffeine: Science Says You Should Be Taking Coffee Naps

woman sleeping with an eye mask

Drinking a cup of coffee and taking a nap seem to be opposing forces. But a combination of the two, something known as a coffee nap, could be majorly beneficial, according to science.

For the unfamiliar, a coffee nap happens when, right before you lie down for a nap, you quickly drink a cup of coffee. The idea is that after 20 or so minutes, you'll wake up feeling refreshed, alert and, well, caffeinated.

It sounds too good to be true, but is it? According to a few recent studies, no.

At a study at Loughborough University in the U.K., researchers found that when tired participants took a 15-minute coffee nap, they went on to commit fewer errors in a driving simulator than when they were given only coffee, or only took a nap.

A separate study at Hiroshima University in Japan found that people who took a coffee nap before taking memory tests performed significantly better—and rated themselves as less tired—than those who only took a nap, took a nap and then washed their faces or had a bright light shone in their eyes.

Something to think about before your next midday snooze.

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