Understanding your brain chemistry can help you maximize your last cup of coffee for the day.
When pushing through the afternoon slump at work, sometimes all you want is another cup of coffee! But what do you do when that's just not enough and you need a little extra boost to finish the day?
Take a nap!
Yes, you read that right. This science-backed hack is called a coffee-nap, and this is how it works.
Enjoy your last cup of coffee for the day between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Set an alarm for 20 minutes and get some shut-eye, whether you're actually sleeping or simply resting your body.
This nap is thought to boost energy levels because of its effect on adenosine, a chemical that promotes sleep.
You get that drowsy feeling when adenosine binds to certain receptors in your brain. Caffeine binds to those same receptors to wake you up. But that means the adenosine and caffeine are competing in your brain, so the caffeine can't make its full effect.
So here's where the hack plays out. Sleeping naturally clears adenosine from the brain. A 20-minute nap will reduce your levels of adenosine just in time for when the caffeine kicks in. That way, the caffeine has less adenosine to compete with and can attach to more receptors. It becomes more effective and leaves you more alert!
This boost of energy should carry you through the late afternoon and squash any end-of-the-day caffeine craving.