If you’re having one of those days where you are feeling a bit sluggish, and can’t quite get yourself into gear, maybe you should you should try a coffee nap.

What is a coffee nap?

A coffee nap is where you drink coffee before a short sleep. You have to drink it pretty quickly too. Caffeine takes roughly 20-30 minutes to fully kick in. If you time it right, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and of course, caffeinated.

The Science behind the coffee nap.

A coffee nap is thought to boost energy levels because of its effect on adenosine, a chemical that promotes sleep. When adenosine circulates through your body in high amounts, it makes you feel tired. When you fall asleep, adenosine levels begin to drop.

Studies show that caffeine and adenosine compete with one another for receptors in your brain. Now, caffeine doesn’t decrease adenosine in your body like it does with sleep. Instead, caffeine prevents some amount adenosine from being received by your brain making you feel less drowsy.

If you work in a quick nap after a cup of coffee, it may increase the availability of receptors in your brain for caffeine. That’s why a coffee nap may increase energy levels more than just drinking coffee or sleeping alone.

How do you time your coffee naps?

Most experts suggest that the best way to take a coffee nap is to consume a cup right before falling asleep for approximately 15–20 minutes. This is in part due to the amount of time that it takes for the average person to feel the effects of caffeine, as well as to prevent you from falling into slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is a state of deep sleep which can occur about 30 minutes after falling asleep. Waking up during slow-wave sleep could lead to drowsiness and disorientation.

Should you be taking coffee naps?

The answer is entirely up to you. If you are looking for a way to increase your energy in the late morning to early afternoon, this science-backed method could definitely help. If coffee isn’t your thing, you could try drinking tea in its place. But if you are sensitive to caffeine in general, you may want to skip this altogether. Remember, if you are ever in doubt, be sure to consult your physician.