As a parent of young children, “me time” is rare, but an afternoon nap provides a valuable opportunity to recharge your batteries. Here are some tips to make the most of your afternoon, so let’s get going!
The secret recipe for a good nap is coffee. Yes, you read that correctly. Coffee is the secret recipe for a good nap! Now you’re probably thinking: “Wait, coffee and naps? How does that work then?” Well, we’ll explain.
The “science” behind feeling tired
In our brain we have these fancy cells called neurons. They talk to each other by sending chemical signals. There are small channels called receptors that pick up these signals. During the day, our brain slowly fills with a substance called adenosine, which binds to these receptors. Adenosine buildup is the reason we feel like a shriveled balloon at the end of the day. *yawn*.
caffeine vs. Adenosine
Now the coffee comes into play. The caffeine molecule looks suspiciously similar to adenosine. So, when you drink that delicious cup of coffee, caffeine rushes into your brain and hijacks your adenosine receptors. No more adenosine hanging around in there, which means you feel less tired.
Finally lie down
But wait, here comes the cool part. It takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to find its way into your brain. So, first drink coffee quickly (no more than 5 minutes, otherwise there will be a caffeine rush), then take a nap for 20-25 minutes. Even if you don’t quite drift off into dreamland, this sleep position helps flush out adenosine. When you wake up after those 20-25 minutes, you will be back to normal!
Please note, stay in those 20-25 minutes. Naps that are too long, leading to deeper sleep. Then you wake up more tired than you were before the nap. Enjoy the refreshing afternoon energy that a coffee nap can give you!
So, cheers to coffee naps and the secret recipe for us tired parents!
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