The coffee nap is a popular term which evolved in the mid-90s to describe the notion of having a coffee, then having a nap… but not too long a nap only 15-20 minutes. Why did this become so popular and does it really work?
When you drink a coffee, the caffeine stays in the stomach for a while before it moves to the small intestine where it is absorbed through the body. This process takes approximately 45 minutes, but the alertness from caffeine kicks in about the 30-minute mark. This means that having a nap less than 15 minutes after drinking a coffee means that your body wouldn’t have experienced the caffeine hit. Once you wake up from your nap, you would not only experience the hit from caffeine but also a rejuvenation from a nap.
However, what a coffee nap doesn’t do is address the underlying issue, which is a lack of sleep. People these days are overworked, with Australians on average working 312 hours of unpaid overtime annually. Sleep debt affects 40% of Australians with one in five adults experiencing reduced workplace productivity. A 2017 Deloitte study puts this cost at more than $66 billion annually!
What’s the answer then…? should coffee naps become a feature of an employees day or do we need to address the underlying issue of workplace stress, should there be a greater emphasis on work life balance?
We don’t have the answers, but after this we might just need our own coffee nap!