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Improve Brain Alertness with Coffee and a Nap
- Updated: September 1, 2014
Drink Coffee and Take a Nap to Improve Brain Alertness
Researchers from Japan and the United Kingdom recently discovered that a quick 20-minute nap after having a cup of coffee actually improves brain alertness. Apparently, this helps to waken the brain but also keep it alert for longer periods of time compared to not napping after having coffee.
According to top scientists, adenosine is a brain molecule responsible for causing people to experience fatigue. When levels becoe too high, people feel tired. To block some of the adenosine receptors, caffeinated beverages such as soda and coffee work great but to actually clear the brain, in other words, making it more alert, a nap becomes necessary.
After ingesting coffee, caffeine is absorbed by the small intestine and then passed on to the brain through the bloodstream. As shown with new research, it takes approximately 20 minutes for the brain to be affected by caffeine but after napping for 20 minutes, the effect on adenosine becomes enhanced.
As stated by Stephen Braun, author of the most recent study, caffeine is nothing more than a powerful imposter. It slowly produces energy but fails to block adenosine receptors, something needed to awaken the brain. However, for the combination of coffee and napping to work most effectively, naps should never be longer than 20 minutes. Anything longer creates risk of the brain going into deeper stages of sleep, which can be hard to come out of.
Scientists also point out that even if someone only reaches half-sleep stage, meaning they do not fall asleep quickly or fully, there is still tremendous benefit. At Loughborough University in Britain, scientists tallied errors in a driving simulator for tired participants who drank one cup of coffee followed by an immediate 15-minute nap and those that had neither. As anticipated, the group with coffee and a nap had far fewer.
According to researchers of this study, gathered data from the study shows definite improvement in brain alertness when combining coffee and a nap but to better understand the connection but also identify other possible benefits, additional studies are needed.