A leading sleep expert says caffeine actually helps high-performing people feel more rested, as long as they don’t nap too long.
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“I call it a Nap A Latte,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D. (aka The Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Get a cup of black drip coffee, throw three cubes in it merely to cool it down, slug it as fast as you can, and take a nap immediately.”
Appearing on the Write About Now podcast to talk about his book The Power of When, Dr. Breus says the Nap A Latte may seem counterintuitive, but is actually rooted in science. “When a cell eats a piece of glucose, something comes out the back end. One of those things is adenosine,” he explains. “As the chemical accumulates in your brain, you get sleepier and sleepier.”
As you sleep, you’re burning through the adenosine, but as soon as you wake up, he says, “the caffeine kicks into gear, and you’re good for four hours guaranteed.”
While Dr. Breus does not suggest drinking a Nap A Latte every day, he recommends napping daily between 1-3 p.m. “We see a slight core body temperature increase and then drop somewhere in that time,” he says, “which can make you feel sleepy.”
He also advises that your naps shouldn’t exceed 25 minutes. After that, your body goes into a deep sleep, and waking up is more challenging. “Have you ever woken up from a nap and felt worse, not better?” Dr. Breus asks. “That’s when you nap too long.”
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To listen to Dr. Breus’s full interview about tips and tricks on how to sleep better, subscribe to the Write About Now podcast.
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