Step one: drink coffee. Step two: nap.
Scientists have begun recommending so-called coffee naps as a way to maximize the efficacy of both sleep and caffeine. Because caffeine takes a little while to reach the brain, you have time to fall asleep before it hits.
Drink a cup of coffee quickly in order to maximize your sleep time, then try for a 20-minute nap or rather slip into a half-asleep state — in 20 minutes, the brain doesn’t have time to fall deeply asleep. Thus, you can nap without disrupting your sleep cycle.
To create that coffee buzz, caffeine travels across the brain and fits into receptors for the chemical adenosine.
But in order for that system to work, your brain must be free of adenosine, a byproduct of activity in the mind. A nap naturally clears out all the adenosine, leaving those receptors open for the caffeine.
Studies across the world have shown that people function better after coffee naps. UK subjects made fewer errors in a simulated driving scenario, while Japanese subjects scored better on tests.
Down that double espresso and lay back for some shut-eye — science says so.