How to Power Up Your Day With a Coffee Nap

Updated on February 17, 2017

Caffeine Is Not Always the Enemy of Sleep

Everyone knows it is best to avoid consuming caffeine too close to bedtime, so why would anyone consider combining coffee with a nap? Strange as it may seem, scientific evidence proves coffee napping works. It's just a matter of timing it right. The effect of the caffeine generally takes 20 minutes to kick-in. So as long have you have not been consuming caffeine prior to your intended nap time, and become overstimulated, a strong cup of coffee, taken just before napping, can be extremely beneficial because the caffeine will begin to act at the time your nap ends, allowing you to awake feeling more invigorated.

20 Minutes to Invigorate Your Day

Origin of the Coffee Nap

The coffee nap is based on research conducted at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England. The researchers wanted to establish if a combination of caffeine and a short nap could help invigorate sleepy car drivers. Previous research had revealed a dose of caffeine, taken 15 minutes before a nap, initiated a 60-minute reprieve from sleepiness, and the researchers wanted to explore this further.

Twelve "sleepy individuals" took part in the study. The sleepiness was induced by a 120-minute monotonous trip in a car simulator. They were then given either 200mg of caffeine or a placebo and allowed a 30-minute break to take a nap. The resultant data showed the participants who took a caffeine nap woke up more refreshed and mentally alert than the ones who napped without caffeine.

How to Take a Coffee Nap

Although it is possible to take a coffee nap at any time, the most effective time to use the technique is up to a couple of hours after lunch because it helps banish mid-afternoon energy slumps. Anyone driving a car or other vehicle should find it relatively easy to find a place to park and take a nap, but people working in offices or factories etc may find they have to plan the time and place of their nap around their work environment.

1. Find a Good Place to Nap

The first thing to do is find a suitable location. It needs to be somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed. Some people may find the simplest thing to do is pop out to their car and recline the seat, but it is possible to take a successful coffee nap by sitting on a chair and placing your head on your hands, at a desk or table.

2. Drink Some Coffee

The scientists at Loughborough University gave the test subjects a 200mg dose of caffeine, but some people may find they need a little more or slightly less. A 16-ounce cup of coffee generally provides around 200mg of caffeine, a 120-ounce Starbucks "tall" coffee should provide around 240-260mg of caffeine. If you don't like coffee you could use a caffeine tablet, like Pro-Plus, instead. Some brands of energy drink also contain enough caffeine, but energy drinks are rich in sugar, so they could deliver a rush of glucose that may make napping impossible. If you are using coffee you may want to cool it with some cold water because you will need to drink it quite fast.

3. Set Your Alarm

You will need to set an alarm to go off in 15 to 20 minutes time. This is important because if you are at work your employer will not be impressed to find you (over) sleeping on the job. Even if you are taking a coffee nap at home, setting an alarm is still a very important third step. If the nap continues for too long you may drift into slow-wave sleep and will likely feel groggy when you wake up.

4. Get Your Head Down

You've found a good place, had your coffee and set the alarm. Now all you need to do is get your head down and start counting a few sheep.

Finding a good place to nap is easier for some than others.
Finding a good place to nap is easier for some than others.

Final Thoughts

Although research shows taking a coffee nap can be a good way of avoiding a mid-afternoon energy slump, the technique may not be suitable for everyone. People who regularly consume coffee or other sources of caffeine throughout the morning may find they are so loaded with caffeine they are unable to sleep. People who are overly sensitive to caffeine may also find a coffee nap is not for them. Still others may be confined to work environments that do not provide a suitable location.

However, for those who can use the technique, a coffee nap offers a lot of value and, in the case of car drivers etc, it may even have the potential to save lives. Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate 100,000, police-reported crashes per year are caused by driver fatigue. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths. The best thing to do is avoid getting behind the wheel if you are tired, but if coffee nap provides you with the extra invigoration you need, then it's a good way to go.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)