I suffer from extreme daytime sleepiness partly because of a sleep disorder and partly due to my bipolar meds. Because of this, I have trouble staying awake in the afternoons so I tried all sorts; drinking coffee, having naps, getting some fresh air and even had a go at mindfulness, but nothing helped to helped me fight extreme sleepiness. I heard about a caffeine nap so thought I would give it a try.
The idea is to drink a cup of coffee or caffeine product quickly, then have a nap immediately afterwards. It sounds contradictory, and initially, made no sense to me, but the science behind it proved otherwise.
The theory is that it takes around 20 minutes for the effects of caffeine to kick in and the recommended time for a power-nap is 20 minutes. Combining the two together means the caffeine is just kicking in at the point of awakening from the nap. The caffeine cancels the groggy feeling often felt when waking. It also prevents us from napping too long, making us feel even worse.
I decided to give it a go. It took a bit to get used to as I would tend to fall deeply asleep for an hour or more and the caffeine wasn’t enough to wake me. I found the best way to deal with it, was to set the alarm for 25 minutes. This allowed me a bit of time to fall asleep and also time for a brief nap to happen.
I did find myself still groggy upon awakening, though, so I made the coffee stronger. I also stood up and walked around then made myself busy immediately after the nap to get the blood flowing again rather than just sitting for a while. This helped tremendously and I felt refreshed and awake again.
I have been doing the caffeine nap for a while now, and I find I am more alert for hours after the nap and survive until bedtime without needing another nap.
For people who also suffer from extreme sleepiness, it is worth trying.