It was just a long blink, nothing more. A slight lag in the opening of your eyes, but it happens again and you realise you’re falling asleep at the wheel of your car. You pull into the service station and can’t decide – caffeine or sleep?
Which option will get you home quickest, without putting your life in danger? You think again – caffeine or sleep?
Surprisingly the correct answer is both!
The Effects of Caffeine on Tiredness
It’s now common knowledge that caffeine can helps us stay awake and alert. A study at the centre for sleep research at the University of South Australia demonstrated that a group given a high dose of caffeine every three hours and asked to drive a simulator took on average 40 hours before crashing compared to only 22 hours for the control group. What’s less well known is that through a quirk in the way you sleep and process caffeine, we can bio-hack our brain receptors to be even less tired with a caffeine nap.
What Is A Caffeine Nap?
A caffeine nap is when you take a strong dose of caffeine immediately before going to sleep (for less than twenty minutes) in order to reduce your tiredness by more than just taking caffeine or sleeping alone. To understand why you need to understand how caffeine keeps you alert and how sleep helps us recover.
How Caffeine Stops You Being Tired
The brain releases a molecule called adenosine, as part of normal brain activity, which clog your brain receptors causing you to be tired. Caffeine is a similar shape to adenosine, so also fits into the brain receptors, preventing adenosine from making you sleepier.
Why Caffeine Naps Are More Effective Than Just Sleeping or Caffeine Alone?
- When we tire and take caffeine a lot of our receptors are already clogged by adenosine. Caffeine can block some of the remaining receptors, but can’t reduce the amount of adenosine in our system.
- Sleep removes adenosine from the brain, but if we fall into a deep sleep, which happens after 20 minutes it can take the brain some time to recover.
- It takes 15-20 minutes for caffeine to reach the brain.
Therefore if we go to sleep immediately after a large dose of caffeine, the sleep clears our receptors of adenosine, allowing more receptors to be blocked by the caffeine, but without falling into a deep sleep.
Loughborough university research found that when tired participants took a caffeine nap, they committed fewer errors than participants who had just a coffee or a nap. Interestingly this even worked for those who could not sleep and just laid half-asleep in bed for 15 minutes.
How Can Caffeine Naps Help You?
Whether you’re stuck behind the wheel of a car, in the office pulling an all-nighter or against the clock in a multi-day race – if you can’t stay awake and can’t afford to stop, take a Caffeine Bullet and grab a power nap, knowing that you’ll be far more alert afterwards.
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About Caffeine Bullet
Caffeine Bullets are performance enhancing energy chews with 100mg* caffeine and 4 types of electrolytes, formulated for athletic performance, to be taken before and during exercise to improve endurance, increase alertness and reduce the perception of pain. Far more convenient and concentrated than a gel, the caffeine is absorbed through your gums, to give you a more pronounced effect up to 3 times faster so that you can train harder and perform better.
Available in two flavours:
MINTense: Delivers a refreshing blast of spearmint that will awaken your senses. With each chew, you'll experience a burst of minty fresh flavour that revitalises your taste buds and fuels your energy levels. So good that it secured investment from notable Dragons, Steven Bartlett & Peter Jones, on the show "Dragons' Den."
- ChocoLIT Orange: Has a unique combination of energising and delicious flavours. A perfect blend of dark chocolate, orange zest, and caffeine. This chew is designed to give your body an energy boost in an enjoyable way. Oh, and did we mention they're award-winning? They clinched the Editor’s choice for best value race nutrition at the Women's Running Awards in both 2020 and 2022!