Monday, June 13, 2016

Dead inside but still have to study? Have a coffee power nap!

Dead inside but still have to study? Have a coffee power nap!

Dead inside but still have to study? Have a caffeine power nap!
Have a coffee power nap

Well here we are. It's the most wonderful time of the year. The time when all college students suddenly disappear from the face of the planet, when coffee flows in streams down our throats and the bags under our eyes start flapping around in the wind.

Yes, exams have started! Yay! Yay for sleepless nights, yay for piles upon piles upon piles of books and notes (btw, if you want to make your own notebook to make your notes extra pretty, check out my tutorial!) and, of course, and not even sarcastically, yay for coffee!

Coffee is your friend, folks! This brown liquid helps us get through the day when the going gets tough. It gives us strength to get up in the morning and it provides te necessary mid day kick in the ass to help us finish our work/school day. I love coffee, and not necessarily in the most healthy way. I tend to drink about a liter of black coffee a day, no sugar, no milk, no nothing. But don't worry, I don't walk around like a tremoring puppy because of it, I'm so used to drinking joe that I could literally chug a cuppa and go take a nap.

Now, most of you would probably never put the words »sleep« and »coffee« together in a sentence, but did you know that there exists a thing called a »coffee power nap«? It's a great thing to do when there are not enough hours in one day to be productive and get enough sleep – especially if, like me, you're a huge procrastinator. Which you probably are, since you're reading this article instead of studying J

And, since you're reading this instead of studying, you'll probably be pulling an all nighter some time in the future. How to stay awake while studying? You're proably asking yourself this question every time the clock strikes midnight, your exam takes place in a few hours and you still haven't opened the books.

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How to stay awake while studying – Try a coffee power nap.
How to stay awake while studying – Try a coffee power nap.

Your first thought might be that the thing to save you from falling asleep and drooling all over your books is coffee, and you'd be absolutely right. But for it to really have a maximum effect you have to pair it with another one of my favy things: a nap.

So, what do you need to have an effective coffee nap?

* a cuppa joe (black, unsweetened works best), chilled. You're gonna be chugging it and I don't want you to have third degree burns all the way to your stomach
* a comfy bed. Something you can really just fall into and fall asleep.
* a dark, quiet room. Somewhere with curtains drawn and with absolutely no distractions.
* an alarm clock / phone. To wake you up after your nap.

Go into the room you have picked for your coffee nap. Drink your chilled coffee, set your alarm clock and lie down.

And here's the trick: after drinking the coffee, sleep. The nap is necessary because the brain needs sleep to reset itself – have you ever noticed how you can't seem to function normally when you're sleepy? The brain has some information that it needs to process and it does its thing while you're asleep. So, even a short nap will be enough for the brain to reset itself and the coffee will provide the extra kick you need for a couple more hours of work or study. And why 20 minutes? Because that's how long it takes for the caffeine to kick in and take effect.

Bullpoop, you might think. How can I go to sleep after I've had coffee? And how will that help anything? But the efficiency of the coffee sleep combination has been proven by scientists who have determined »that a caffeinated drink immediately followed by a short nap before the caffeine kicks in, make an ideal combination for combating moderate sleepiness.« 

The only thing I have a problem with here is the term »moderate sleepiness«, because, unless I'm absolutely exhausted, there's no chance I'd fall asleep in 20 minutes. But even if you're barely keeping your eyes open, a coffee power nap will help you study for an hour or two more so ... It's something.

Now, while a coffee nap can be great, there's still some things that you should keep in mind:

* only do it every now and again. You can't run on coffee and 20 minute power naps for longer periods of time. Once or twice a week should be fine but make sure you get a good night sleep at the first chance you get.
* do it only if you're exhausted. Unless you have no problem falling asleep in 20 minutes even when you're not all that tired.
* don't use energy drinks. They might have a higher caffeine content than regular coffee but, as the study I mentioned before determined: »despite advertising claims, some caffeine products are much better and others in this respect, and drinks with a very high sugar content can worsen sleepiness.« So, in order to have a successful power nap, coffee or caffeine pills work best.

How 'bout you? Do you have any advice on how to stay awake while studyingHelp a sista' out!



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