There are three universal things college kids love: booze, coffee and naps. Regardless of your campus location, college students around the world need a constant supply of these three things to function.
Although booze is fun, it’s usually reserved for the weekend (except for wine and cheese night, duh). However, the last two on the list are especially important for the day-to-day functioning of a full-time student. Most people disassociate coffee and naps because they cancel each other out — caffeine keeps you wide awake, which has the opposite effect of a nap. However, recent research has shown that coffee naps are the best of both worlds and are more effective together than separate. #teamwork
Here’s how it works: you drink a cup of coffee right before you take a QUICK, 15-20 minute nap. The coffee nap won’t work if you pass out for 3 hours. Any type of caffeine will technically work, but teas are too weak and energy drinks contain way more sugar than coffee. To make things easier, we even made a list of places for you to get your coffee fix based on their caffeine intake. You’re welcome.
The cool, science-y explanation is that adenosine, a molecule produced by brain activity, builds up in your brain and is the main culprit for making you feel tired throughout the day. Caffeine blocks some of these adenosine receptors, which is why it helps you stay awake. Sleeping is the natural way to clear these adenosine receptors, which is why a good night’s sleep is so important.
During a 20 minute nap, enough of the adenosine is cleared away to give room for the caffeine to fill in those receptors, giving you that extra boost you need for the day. There’s even evidence that caffeine before a nap is more helpful in helping you overcome sleep inertia, which is that grogginess you feel after you first wake up.
So, next time you’re feeling the midday exhaustion creeping up on you, make yourself a good cup of joe, get a quick shut-eye, then wake up feeling more revitalized than ever.