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What Is a Coffee Nap? How Long Should a Coffee Nap Be?

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Update: April 27, 2023
6 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
Coffee Nap

Coffee and power naps are powerful methods that help when you feel tired and sleepy. Do you know about the “coffee before nap” phrase? Are you familiar with this term, or need clarification after hearing about the coffee power nap? If you have heard about this for the first time, you will think it is counterintuitive and the dumbest thing to do.

But in reality, a caffeine power nap is the most effective way to beat fatigue and sleepiness in just 20 minutes. 

This article explains what a coffee nap is, how coffee naps work to relieve fatigue, and its benefits and limitations.

What Is a Caffeine Nap

Drinking coffee before napping is known as a “caffeine nap” or “coffee power nap.” Is drinking coffee before sleep a good idea to avoid sleepiness? Yes, but the sleep must end in 20 minutes. Because of its effects on the body’s natural sleep-inducing chemical adenosine, this is a smart choice for stimulation. 

With each additional minute of sleep, adenosine levels decrease. Power naps, therefore, aid in lowering the level of adenosine in your body. Whereas adenosine and caffeine compete for receptors in the brain, caffeine blocks their entry instead of decreasing it. Together, they can do wonders. Why? Caffeine is more effective since there is less adenosine to counteract after a short nap.

How Coffee Naps Work

When paired with the unbeatable benefits of quick naps, caffeine, a well-known stimulant, can do miracles. 

Every time we consume caffeine, whether it be in coffee or another substance, it is absorbed through the small intestine and goes straight to the bloodstream. Caffeine dissolves in the blood and cell membranes because it is both fat- and water-soluble. This makes it easier for caffeine to break the blood-brain barrier and reach brain receptors. 

Due to its structural similarity to adenosine, caffeine binds to adenosine-specific cell receptors. But to do so, they must compete with the adenosines inside your brain. If you take a short nap for 15 to 20 minutes, competition lessens, and the condition gets simpler because the amount of adenosine will drop. How to sleep after caffeine consumption must be on your mind. According to experts, caffeine takes time to show effects after consumption. 

How long does it take coffee to work? 15-20 minutes, approximately. A 20-minute nap allows you to remove the adenosines that are currently present inside your brain. The adenosines entering your brain must then battle with the caffeine, and a nap will facilitate the process. Therefore, this is how coffee before nap works. 

Does Coffee Nap Have the Same Effects as Power Nap

Of course, a coffee nap is better than a power nap. With power naps, the level of adenosine only decreases. But a coffee power nap allows caffeine to compete with adenosines trying to enter your brain and occupy the brain receptors meant for adenosine.

How to Take a Coffee Nap

Here is the complete process of drinking coffee before sleep:

Grab a Cup of Coffee

Drinking coffee before sleep is the best way to intake caffeine and remove tiredness. Caffeine levels in energy drinks, sodas, and teas are not enough to be effective, so coffee before a nap is the best. Therefore, grab a cup of coffee and finish it as soon as you can. Caffeine begins to have an effect after 15 to 20 minutes, so taking frequent sips of hot coffee for a long time isn’t a good idea.

Find a Comfortable Place

After drinking coffee, you’ll need a cosy place to lie down for a caffeine power nap. This place must be quiet, smooth, and dark enough to promote sleep—even in a car.  

Set Your Alarm

You must be wondering how to sleep after caffeine consumption. You don’t necessarily have to nod off after drinking coffee. It would work to simply lay down and remain half asleep. To ensure you get up on time, set the alarm for 15 to 20 minutes before going to sleep. 

Take Your Nap

Take a proper nap and get up after 20 minutes. This time frame is crucial for helping you get over your fatigue, but extending it further can help you enter deeper stages of sleep. It will be hard to wake up after going into deeper stages of sleep. Additionally, sleep inertia strikes when you wake up after entering a deeper sleep stage. Instead of waking up energised and refreshed, you will experience a short period of grogginess and sleepiness. 

Duration of a Coffee Nap

The key to a successful coffee power nap is timing. What is a coffee nap? The coffee power nap involves drinking coffee before sleep, and this nap should last at most 20 minutes. This timing is ideal because caffeine begins to operate after 15-20 minutes, and a short nap will eliminate the adenosine that is currently present in your brain. It will create space for caffeine to settle into your brain receptors.

Is it bad to sleep after drinking coffee for more than 20 minutes? There is another big reason for not sleeping for more than 20 minutes. More than 20 minutes of sleep puts you in the deep sleep stage. It is more difficult to wake up during deeper sleep phases, and you experience sleep inertia.

Best Time of the Day for a Coffee Nap

The middle of the day or after lunch is the greatest time for a coffee power nap. This is because after working nonstop until lunch, we typically feel lethargic or inactive. We don’t need a coffee power nap in the morning because we had enough sleep the night before and are already refreshed. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to drink coffee before bed. If you drink coffee between six hours before bed, it will disrupt your sleep. This is because the stimulants formed by coffee naps last for six hours.  

Efficacy of Coffee Naps : What Scientific Studies Say

Coffee naps are promising and effective because of their effects on your brain. Even though there isn’t much research on the topic, the studies that have been conducted show that drinking coffee before sleep is beneficial. 

A 12-person study found that those who consumed 200 mg of caffeine and napped for only 15 minutes before using a driving simulator felt 91% less drowsy than those who didn’t drink coffee and nap. Even though they were only partially asleep, they still felt energised.

In another study, 10 healthy adults who had coffee before their nap performed better on computer tasks than those who received only naps, exposure to bright light while napping, face washing after naps, or no naps at all. 

These studies demonstrate that drinking coffee before nap is the best strategy to overcome fatigue and sleepiness and increase productivity in just 20 minutes.  

Benefits & Limitations of Coffee Naps

The advantages of a caffeine power nap include the following:

  • An easy and quick approach to feeling energised
  • Lasts for up to six hours

Caffeine power nap has the following drawbacks:

  • Consuming excessive amounts isn’t good for your health (400 milligrams of caffeine in a day is safe for healthy adults)
  • Coffee before bed disrupts your sleep. 


To fight fatigue and restore your energy, combine coffee with naps. Is it bad to sleep after drinking coffee? You should never consider this question, and you must enjoy experimenting with this new technique for overcoming tiredness and sleepiness. Coffee before bed is never a smart idea, though. So, a coffee power nap is most effective in the mid-day or post-lunch hours.


Are coffee naps healthy?

A caffeine nap will successfully eliminate adenosine from the brain, reducing competition for the stimulant caffeine. Caffeine can connect to brain cell receptors, inhibiting adenosine from binding to them and therefore energising the body.

How long does a coffee nap last?

A coffee nap requires precise timing. Your coffee nap should last 15 to 20 minutes if you want to reap the rewards of both coffee and sleep. Coffee naps won’t be as effective if they last more than 20 minutes.

Is it better to nap or drink coffee?

 A renowned sleep specialist claims that caffeine makes highly productive people feel better rested as long as they don’t take excessive naps. Although some experts claim that drinking coffee before having a 25-minute nap can help you feel more rested, caffeine is known to prevent sleep.

Why does coffee make me nap?

The effects of adenosine, which give you an awake feeling after your morning cup of coffee, can be blocked by caffeine. Coffee can make you weary because your body may accumulate adenosine after the caffeine wears off and release it all at once.

Why do I feel sleepy after coffee?

The effects of adenosine, which give you an awake feeling after your morning cup of coffee, can be blocked by caffeine. Coffee can make you weary because your body may accumulate adenosine after the caffeine wears off and release it all at once.


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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