Around 2pm, a subtle change comes over the office here. Eyes glaze over, brains get a little fuzzy, and we all slouch down in our seats a little bit. It’s the dreaded post-lunch slump, and we typically remedy it by making a quick French press in the office and enjoying our afternoon dose in our stainless steel coffee mugs.
But lately, we’ve heard about a better way to perk up and still enjoy our caffeine fix (don’t worry, it’s nothing illegal). Bonus? It involves making great use of the tons of comfy couches in our office. Guys, meet the Caf Nap.
What the Heck is a Caf Nap?
Glad you asked (otherwise this blog post would be pretty much finished). Here’s what a caf nap looks like:
Step 1: Drink a cup of coffee. If you have a fancy stainless steel coffee mug, let the coffee cool down for a few minutes so you can down it relatively quickly.
Step 2: Take a nap — it’s gotta be short though. Like, 15-20 minutes.
Step 3: Wake up just as the sweet, sweet caffeine hits your bloodstream.
Step 4: Get s*** done.
This Actually Works? Why?
Yep, this sorcery has been proven to be effective (it was tested on sleepy drivers). The timing here is key. By waking up right around the same time the coffee hits your bloodstream, you get the stimulant of caffeine mixed with your power nap superpowers.
It’s also really important to limit your nap (even though we know how tempting it is to snooze for a solid hour). By confining your shuteye to about 15-20 minutes, you’ll stay within Stage 1 and Stage 2 sleep. These stages of the sleep cycle are light enough that you won’t be dazed and confused when you wake up, but you’ll still get the benefits of sleep, like feeling alert and lowering your blood pressure and your heart rate. If you stay asleep for 30 minutes or more, you’ll be in Stage 3 sleep, which is much deeper (you’re likely to sleep through noises and movements, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and confused).
Anything Else I Should Know?
Not into coffee? Don’t reach for a sugary soft drink as a substitute. First of all, they don’t contain enough caffeine, and second of all, the sugar might prevent you from falling asleep at all. Unfortunately, tea doesn’t quite have enough caffeine either (black tea only has about 50mg of caffeine, and scientists in the drowsy driver study used a caffeine dose of 200mg). Caffeine supplements are an option, but clear it with your doctor beforehand and make sure the caffeine supplement is FDA approved. We don’t want anyone going Jessie Spano on our watch.
Last thing to note: if you can’t fully fall asleep in such a short amount of time, no worries. You’ll still get some “microsleep” (a temporary episode of sleep that lasts anywhere from a fraction of a second to 30 seconds), which is still effective.
One final word of advice: make sure you talk to your boss before you duck into an empty conference room to take a snooze. We know what you’re doing is a highly scientific productivity enhancer, but to them, it might just look like good old fashioned slacking off. Let’s bring the caf nap into offices around the world.