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Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the meth-naps-still-frowned-upon dept.

Science 133

An anonymous reader writes: Caffeine is a staple of most workplaces — it's rare to find an office without a coffee pot or a fridge full of soda. It's necessary (or at least feels like it's necessary) because many workers have a hard time staying awake while sitting at a desk for hours at a time, and the alternative — naps — aren't usually allowed. But new research shows it might be more efficient for employers to encourage brief "coffee naps," which are more effective at returning people to an alert state than either caffeine or naps alone. A "coffee nap" is when you drink a cup of coffee, and then take a sub-20-minute nap immediately afterward. This works because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to get into your bloodstream, and a 20-minute nap clears adenosine from your brain without putting you into deeper stages of sleep. In multiple studies, tired participants who took coffee naps made fewer mistakes in a driving simulator after they awoke than the people who drank coffee without a nap or slept without ingesting caffeine.

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Whats this, you want a Coffee Nap? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784129)

Coffee naps are for closers! [imdb.com]

Re:Whats this, you want a Coffee Nap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786883)

Second prize is you're fired. We're all out of steak knives.

Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784137)

Every metric that says not doing work at certain times can be good for your work overall can and will be overlooked by the kind of people who want you working 60 hour weeks. They want to look good for their boss, and butts in seats are the best way to do that.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47784265)

I can attest to this. When I was hourly at a place where they weren't allowed to send us home early, they would find all manner of useless busywork for us to do if they caught us done without more work to do. It became an arms race, between trying to not get caught and trying to catch those not working.

And for those that want to argue that it's the employer's time, to use the employees how they see fit, one of the fastest ways to demoralize a technical worker is to make him do manual labor that doesn't even serve a purpose; most of us got into technical fields to avoid doing manual labor in the first place, let alone that which doesn't make a positive contribution.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784287)

I don't know if most of us got into tech to avoid manual labor. I personally got in it because I like the idea of solving problems, rather than taking care of them for a short while.

I'd appreciate more physical activity at work, 40 hours a week of physical idleness(on top of sleeping) is not what the human body evolved for.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47784359)

"Go take these old PCs we pulled from the field, upgrade the RAM, and reimage them so they could be redeployed at some point."

"Go take these old PCs that are in the redeployment pool and cannibalize them."

"Go take these cannibalized PCs and load them into this modular shipping container."

"Go unload this modular shipping container of old cannibalized PCs and load them in this trailer."

"Go unload this trailer of old cannibalized PCs and load them onto these pallets."

"Go break-down these pallets of old cannibalized PCs and load them into this modular shipping container."

It was like Cool Hand Luke without the eggs.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784381)

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to suggest I wasn't sympathetic with your plight. Sorry. Busywork does actually suck. Just that a bit of physical labor as part of my work day wouldn't be unwelcome.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47786337)

Yeah. I now do have a component of labor in my job from time to time, and it's actually interesting, invigorating, and helps to workday to pass more quickly. Plus I don't often have to revisit the exact same problem at the exact same place, so there's variety.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a month ago | (#47784773)

Looks like you solved how to keep the manual labor busy....

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a month ago | (#47785337)

Fuck me. Tell me you're exaggerating.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (2)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47786233)

No. If anything I left out a few steps, like going through and reimaging the same enqueued loaner stock two or three times over the course of six months, even though the new image being put down was the same as the old one, and a few instances where cannibalized machines were un-cannibalized before sitting a few months and being re-cannibalized again.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786985)

I'm not the OP, but... no, he isn't. I've encountered this before too.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785665)

The proper management technique for this is to spread the busy work across multiple employee groups, so none of them ever realize they are moving the same cannibalized PC's around for 5 years.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47786289)

When they send most of us to go form a bucket-brigade to empty computers out of various storage places, it's kind of hard to not let-on.

Possibly the biggest insult was when we lost some permanent storage, and they decided to rent a couple of mobile-mini ex-shipping-containers. I suggested that as we unload the permanent storage we use the opportunity to palletize (and inventory) stuff that needs to be kept (putting that inventory control sheet wrapped in with the contents on the pallet that it describes) and that we also make an effort to discard that which we didn't need to keep. We have mild winters here, and it was in late fall or early winter when this was to happen.

The response I got was, "pallets are hard to come by", which is crap, as I could have gotten all I wanted from Receiving. They might have been older, dirty, and splintery, but they'd have worked well enough for long term storage that doesn't get moved around much. Instead they bucket-brigaded everything to cargo vans, drove them to the containers, bucket-brigaded everything into the containers, then six months later in the heat of summer bucket-brigaded everything back out, then went through it to get rid of most of it.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a month ago | (#47785833)

I personally got in it because I like the idea of solving problems, rather than taking care of them for a short while.

Just don't mistake any of the trades for not being problem-solving professions. Laying out a plumbing stack, electrical plan, etc. and making it work seamlessly (err... perfectly), or welding together a skyscraper are very valid and worthy problem solving engagements. Same with shoeing a horse from rods of iron. You just get to move more in these jobs.

I'd love to hear from somebody who feels that writing a finance report module is more worthy an endeavour than building a house for a family. I'm not even confident that it could be proven to be a better productivity enhancer on a macro level as your report module will be thrown away in a few years, but that house will be there for a century.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a month ago | (#47784323)

Of course an employer can do what they want which includes busywork, but that doesn't mean the employer isn't a complete failure when it comes to defining the scope of a job position. Most employers are too lazy to do this well.

Any employer who can't accept that you won't be busy every second of the day is not an employer worth working for in any country in the world.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784401)

And for those that want to argue that it's the employer's time, to use the employees how they see fit, one of the fastest ways to demoralize a technical worker is to make him do manual labor that doesn't even serve a purpose; most of us got into technical fields to avoid doing manual labor in the first place, let alone that which doesn't make a positive contribution.

Yep, last job I had was doing lab work and the boss had the attitude that if you're not doing something at the moment, even if you're monitoring a chemical reaction that's about to finish, you'd better be sweeping the floors rather than standing there at your bench. Then they wondered why it took so long to get good results on these little pilot plants that were being manually run all the time because they were too cheap to spring for some better sensors and automation. That 3 months ruined any desire I had to do any more research jobs.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784699)

Welcome to the life of an active duty military member

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47784915)

Sad thing is, no one at that employer in a position of management had ever been in the military, so it wasn't like they learned to do that in the service.

I expect it's just what bureaucratic organizations end up doing.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47785327)

Welcome to the life of an active duty military member

Indeed. Nobody does busywork as well as the US military. When I was a private, I was once give the task of straightening out staples so they could be reused.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

Gerald Butler (3528265) | about a month ago | (#47785853)

That's called hazing. You're supposed to realize that it is a non-assignment and object. If you don't, it shows you are a push-over.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (2)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47786355)

Unless you're now the second-or-third-generation of enlistee that's been given the task, where the previous "generations" now assume that it's normal to do that to someone instead of using it as a character test.

IE, by failing the character test and still managing to become sergeants, they pass the trait on in a natural-selection sort of way.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (5, Insightful)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about a month ago | (#47784965)

When my engineers are low on actual tasks, I encourage them to learn. Go read up on some new technology, play around with that game engine, read some technology magazines or books, etc. That increased knowledge is incredibly useful to the company in the long run, it makes for happier employees, and they are even more marketable. Sounds counterproductive, but I prefer more marketable employees because it means not only do I have a strong team, but now the company is far more appealing to other marketable employees when I have an opening.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (2)

TWX (665546) | about a month ago | (#47785073)

I made that argument more times than I could keep track of.

Part of the problem was that immediate supervisory-types could only barely do their own jobs, and saw just about everyone underneath that was more capable as a threat, so they actively discouraged us to play and learn.

They even got mad when I took an ancient box and loaded Linux on it to play. It was a friggin' Microchannel box it was so old, and they still panicked because it wasn't 'standard'. Nevermind that the IT department should be the one place in the entire organization that isn't standard, since it should be testing-out new devices to determine if they'll be widely deployed.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (4, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a month ago | (#47785877)

...And for those that want to argue that it's the employer's time, to use the employees how they see fit, one of the fastest ways to demoralize a technical worker is to make him do manual labor that doesn't even serve a purpose; most of us got into technical fields to avoid doing manual labor in the first place, let alone that which doesn't make a positive contribution.

One of the scariest things to see is a programmer walking towards the servers with a screwdriver...

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about a month ago | (#47786101)

When I was hourly at a place where they weren't allowed to send us home early, they would find all manner of useless busywork for us to do if they caught us done without more work to do.

What were they making you do? Was it extra programming projects, crossword puzzles, or mopping the floor? Just curious

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786955)

Bill Hicks had a great story along these lines; paraphrased to:

Boss: Why aren't you working?
Bill: There isn't anything to do.
Boss: Well pick up a broom and pretend that you're working.
Bill: You're paid the big money, why don't you pretend that I'm working.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (4, Interesting)

jon3k (691256) | about a month ago | (#47784337)

Depends on the employer. Maybe if you have a bunch of $11/hour monkeys working for you all they care about are butts in seats. My upper management wants to see project deadlines hit. They don't care what or how we get it done.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784355)

No, I'm pretty well compensated for my time, and I'm salaried. It's just stodgy and traditionalist comes with the sector I'm in.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a month ago | (#47785435)

My upper management wants to see project deadlines hit. They don't care what or how we get it done.

Same here, they don't care if you do it during the day or at night as long as it gets done... Oh, and as long as you are here from 8:30 to 5:30 because it looks bad to the other departments if you are not here. You can go ahead and work nights at your discretion, but your butt does need to be in the chair from 8:30 until 5:30.
A few months ago, I got a call at 6:00 in the morning about an issue. I worked on it until 9, took a shower and went to work. On the way to work, and issue came up, and I asked if someone else could look at it because I was on the way to work. It got escalated to the CEO who demanded to know why I was not at work at that hour. I explained that I was called early in the morning and was working on an issue at home. he replied that occasional early morning calls are a fact of life and not an excuse for not getting to work on time.
So in order to perform my job to the expectations of management, I have to be able to foretell the future, so that I know whether I have to get up at 5:30 and go to the office and wait for the support call that I already foretold, or whether I can get up at 7:30 and go to the office because there will be no support call that day or I might get one, but I can complete it before I need to head to the office.

Re: Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786975)

CC boss on reply:

I'm off the clock, your issue will be addressed when I'm at work. Helping you is no excuse to be late, therefore, I'm not helping outside of work. IE having problems when I'm not at work is not my problem.

  Please contact your 24/7 admin for off hour support. I don't know who that is, but it's not me. I need to be in a chair from 8-5, those are your support hours.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (3, Informative)

bondsbw (888959) | about a month ago | (#47784363)

There's also the question of whose dime this caffeine nap is on: the employee, or the employer.

Each has an opinion and it's probably not the same opinion.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about a month ago | (#47786723)

There's also the question of whose dime this caffeine nap is on: the employee, or the employer.

Each has an opinion and it's probably not the same opinion.

If an employer allows proper rest breaks, they do it on their own dime. If the employer doesn't allow proper rest breaks, it's still on their dime only in a way beancounters have more trouble counting.

In this case, there's also the question of where to nap -- not too many employers would like to replace office/factory space with a bed. I suspect only "live at the office" tech companies will do this, both as they already have so many perks and because they will benefit more from better employee concentration.

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784749)

Then they should be destroyed by the free market!

Re:Employers don't want employees who LOOK lazy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785493)

So many insightful replies. Perhaps employers need to read Slashdot, oh wait, they are not smart enough ..

Unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784147)

It takes me 20 minutes TO fall asleep in the first place, usually longer, so this is useless. I'd be wired before I could fall asleep.

Re:Unless... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784159)

Naps of this sort aren't about "falling asleep" though.

Re:Unless... (5, Funny)

NeoMorphy (576507) | about a month ago | (#47784279)

You could try doing it during a meeting.

Bring a cup of coffee and a pair of those fake awake eyes specs and hope you don't snore.

Re:Unless... (1)

marsu_k (701360) | about a month ago | (#47784439)

I don't know if it's the level of caffeine in my bloodstream I'm used to (I'm a Finn [wikipedia.org] after all), but I find a single cup makes me a bit drowsy, even in the evening. It takes at least a few to get me going.

Anecdotal verification (3, Funny)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47784153)

I've done this for years, and didn't even know it was a thing. Seems to work.

Re:Anecdotal verification (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about a month ago | (#47784239)

I've done this for years, and didn't even know it was a thing. Seems to work.

Glug Glug
ZZZZzzzzzz
...
Hey who stole my computer?!

Re:Anecdotal verification (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month ago | (#47784341)

Tell us more about your strategy.

Was it drink coffee, set 20 minute alarm, nap, jump to work like in the story?

Or was it a small variation?

Re:Anecdotal verification (4, Insightful)

LocutusMIT (10726) | about a month ago | (#47785059)

Was it drink coffee, set 20 minute alarm, nap, jump to work like in the story?

I'm not the GP, but I do this on long drives if I start feeling a bit bleary. I'll pull into a rest area, drink a bit of something caffeinated (maybe a couple of good pulls on a bottle of Dr Pepper or Moxie), and put my seat all the way back. No alarm needed, as the caffeine slowly takes effect and wakes me up in about 15 to 20 minutes.

It leaves me feeling awake and alert again, and I'll repeat the process every couple of hours.

Note that I broke my caffeine addiction in college when it started giving me miserable headaches, and I rarely consume anything caffeinated today, so a little bit goes a long way for me. If you drink caffeine regularly, you may need more than I do to make this work.

Re:Anecdotal verification (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47786051)

I'm an amateur athlete, so it's usually more like 'come home from work, am kind of tired, need to do training, decide to take a short nap, drink or eat something with caffeine in it first, nap for 20-30 minutes, get back up, get up to speed again, get ready, go out and do training, feel much better than if I just pushed through it'. Can do this at work, though, too, especially at lunchtime.

Re:Anecdotal verification (2)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a month ago | (#47784367)

I've done this for years, and didn't even know it was a thing. Seems to work.

Works for me too, especially when bumping into dead ends doing creative work.

I'm a writer; I can put in a solid day's work on the proofreading and minor editing/revision aspects, but sometimes spend days or weeks trying to find a good point of view for a scene, or effective way to present character development. Best thing when realizing I've just spent half a day writing crap: have a cup of coffee and nap 15 minutes.

Re:Anecdotal verification (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about a month ago | (#47784821)

I was able to do this for a while and it was amazing. I would drink coffee and then sleep in a carpool for 20ish minutes, and was ready to go all day.

I've actually done this with 5 hour energy drinks. (2)

Chas (5144) | about a month ago | (#47784233)

It works surprisingly well.

I've actually done this with 5 hour energy drinks. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785165)

These drinks are toxic. Incredibly high levels of sugar, and no nutritional value. You are fucking your health with this garbage.

Re:I've actually done this with 5 hour energy drin (2)

swv3752 (187722) | about a month ago | (#47785463)

www.5hourenergy.com/healthfacts.asp

AC is full of crap. There is no sugar; sucralose is used for a sweetener. One could argue that sucralose and preservatives are toxic, but everything else is mostly vitamins, amino acids and caffeine. Seems to be a better option than chugging a soda or Red Bull.

Re:I've actually done this with 5 hour energy drin (1)

LocutusMIT (10726) | about a month ago | (#47785631)

I don't think he's talking about Red Bull or its ilk; he's talking about the small (1 or 2 ounce) capsules loaded with caffeine and zinc. Not much sugar in them compared to energy drinks, and they can be very useful at times if you can handle the sudden influx of zinc.

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784259)

I've been doing this for quite some time now, although with yerba mate instead of coffee. I have a good fortune of working as a researcher, so no one disturbs me in my office. As the article says, you don't even need to sleep; half-awake, relaxed state for 20 minutes is just as effective as a short sleep.

Good way to make yourself ill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784277)

Sounds like a good way to give yourself a stroke or heart issues.

Maybe people should just sleep 8 hours a night like they're supposed to.

Re:Good way to make yourself ill (2)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a month ago | (#47784601)

Yeah, because what was good enough for the Roman slaves and medieval serfs is obviously the best life style for everybody.

Look to our roots in hunting/gathering, and you find there was no set pattern for sleep. When picking berries, you slept in the shade when it was too hot or at camp when it was too dark; otherwise you picked while watching the sunrise and picked while watching the sun set. When the smelt were running, you scooped up fish in the moonlight, cleaned fish as the sun rose, gathered wood and greenery for the smoking fires in the morning, and took long siestas during the heat of the day.

Our ancestors may have averaged 8 or 10 hours of sleep in a day, but for the most part it was in bits and pieces. Mostly no more than 4-6 hours at any one time, with the rest in siestas or naps as tasks allowed.

Re:Good way to make yourself ill (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a month ago | (#47784823)

Roots? We are still hunters /gathers. We don't have to hunt animals but we hunt for jobs and hunt for money to go gather the things we need to survive. Different but the same.

Re:Good way to make yourself ill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784949)

I remember a Laurie Anderson bit where she made the parallel between hunter-gathering and information-gathering.

Re:Good way to make yourself ill (5, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about a month ago | (#47784725)

Maybe people should just sleep 8 hours a night like they're supposed to.

We don't naturally sleep 8 hours a night [slumberwise.com] . We naturally sleep for two blocks of 3-4 hours per day, which the lifestyle requirements of the modern world have forced to occur in a more-or-less continuous 7-8 hour block.

Pre-industrially, those two blocks would have an hour or two of waking time between them; modern research (mostly military) has found that splitting them apart further allows people to go with as little as 4-5 hours of sleep per 24 hour period with only minimal impact on performance.

Re:Good way to make yourself ill (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a month ago | (#47786637)

Pre-industrially, those two blocks would have an hour or two of waking time between them

Indeed -- it was basically forgotten for about a century [bbc.com] , but recently historians have been finding references EVERYWHERE to "first sleep" (or "early slumber" or "beauty sleep") and "second sleep" in many cultures around the world.

The first descriptions of "insomnia" come up only in the 19th century, just about the same time that the two sleep blocks really started to disappear.

And we should not forget the role of coffee in this transition. (From the link above:)

[A researcher] attributes the initial shift to improvements in street lighting, domestic lighting and a surge in coffee houses - which were sometimes open all night.

Coffee may not just ruin your sleep sometimes if you drink too much -- it may have played a major role in divorcing our entire species from its most natural sleep patterns and convincing everyone that a solid 8-hour block is most "normal."

Ad coffee (2)

confused one (671304) | about a month ago | (#47784299)

What we need is a brand of coffee which contains an additive to help flush adenosine. Then we can get more productivity from our slav... *cough* excuse me, umm, happy employees.

Re:Ad coffee (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a month ago | (#47784333)

I suspect that offering a nice, soothing, lumbar puncture to drain that pesky adenosine will be medically unhelpful; but lead to a sharp reduction in the number of employees nodding off while you can see them...

Re:Ad coffee (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month ago | (#47784365)

Nah, LP's don't hurt that much if you know what you're doing. An added bonus is that you can do them with the patient sitting up.

Just a little skin prick here and we're done......

Of course, then there is the post spinal headache, but heck can't have everything.

Shape up, science! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a month ago | (#47784319)

This is supposed to be the future! Why do I need 'sleep' to clear this adenosine from my brain when swarms of nanites in my bloodstream could be doing it instead? So much for progress.

What happened to just drinking water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784327)

Funny thing is, if you don't drink coffee or soda, and don't eat like a pig at lunchtime, you probably don't get tired during the day.

Re:What happened to just drinking water? (1)

g01d4 (888748) | about a month ago | (#47785655)

This is a good point but I think it's not just diet. There's genetics to some extent, lifestyle and the type of work being done. I would hypothesize that an individual, starting at the same 'alert level', would tire at different rates depending on the task. When a person's energy level starts to flag, for whatever reason, little tricks like this may help them to be more productive.

Time Management (1)

khr (708262) | about a month ago | (#47784387)

If you've got time to nap, you've got time for more work.

Re:Time Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785733)

Spoken like a future CEO.

Wont Work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784389)

Time Constraints Problem - I drink about 20 cups of coffee a day, a 20-minute nap after each of them?

- Not sure if I can fit this all in.. could shorten Lunch, I guess.

either caffeine or naps alone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784483)

So, this compares one technique that includes both coffee and sleep to using either of them separately. Is it really surprising that it is more efficient doing both? They should have included a forth group, which got to nap for 20 min, then drink coffee, and then after the caffeine kicked in, made to do some task. Maybe the increased sleep quality, combined with the coffee made them the most efficient of them all.

Drop Caffeine Altogether (5, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a month ago | (#47784507)

About ten years ago, I cut out caffeine altogether. The first two weeks off of it was really tough. I slept a lot and when I was awake I didn't feel awake.

Now, I'm more alert than I was when I was caffeinated and when I hit the pillow at night, 9 times out of 10 I am out within five minutes. I wake up without an alarm clock and have no more than a minute or two of grogginess when I get up.

I was probably a harder core caffeine user than most, and with my personality, dialing it back wouldn't work -- it is either consume a lot or none at all.

Overall, it was the best health choice I've made for myself.

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784569)

I've never been a caffeine user. I drink maybe a Dr. Pepper a year.
It seems to me that the daily habitual users around me are almost bipolar. They hit both extremes of mood and energy throughout the day, while I stay pretty constant.

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | about a month ago | (#47784865)

I quit (albeit accidentally) caffeine over 20 years ago, and I've never thought about the effects like you describe before, until you brought it up.
Yes, going to sleep quickly is a piece of cake, and instantly awake is the norm for me.
I'd like think there are health benefits from giving up caffeine as well, but overall I'm just glad to be done with the caffeine-related headaches.

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785355)

I am curious how you "accidentally" quit caffeine. Can you please tell the story?

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (1)

Amouth (879122) | about a month ago | (#47785627)

I accidentally did it by switching from Coffee to Tea due to stomach issues... (yes i know Tea has caffeine, keep reading)

After i switched to Tea i went and tried many different types till i found ones i liked, and sat well with my stomach after drinking it all day. An that Tea was Rooibos Tea also known as Red Tea. After more than a year of switching i found out Rooibos Tea had zero Caffeine.

I don't drink sodas and haven't for many years, and again i made the witch to find something that fit my stomach better. Honestly i never understood people and their Caffeine cravings because i never found coffee or a soda to give me any type of perk up (i drank coffee because i like the taste).

But anyways, that is how i "accidentally" quit caffeine, i switched what i was drinking and cut it out without even realizing it.

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a month ago | (#47785553)

Actually I had a bad experience with caffiene withdrawl years ago, high school actually. I had managed quite a habbit of hitting the vending machine for iced tea. Two in the morning before class, two at lunch, then of course there was either wrestling practice or the ride home. After doing this a while, I forgot my wallet at home in a rush one day.....ouch.

Ever since, I watched for the morning headaches, if I get them, I immediately detox off caffiene for two weeks, never had such a bad reaction since.

Though, the last time I got caffiene headaches was a few years back, when I was in a cubicle practically next to a break room stocked with decent coffee. Now I work in an office that is a bit of a walk, and well.... I can't drink the stuff they make....I may be an addict but, I have standards. I just can't drink that swill.

They have decent tea though....

Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a month ago | (#47786515)

About ten years ago, I cut out caffeine altogether.

Yes, I did that too out of necessity about 5 years ago. Not that I was ever actually "addicted" like many people -- I would rarely have coffee more than a few times per week, though I used to brew a LOT of my own tea and iced tea.

But at some point my body seemed to become hypersensitive to it. Now, if I have a cup of coffee after 2pm, it will likely keep me awake until the middle of the night. So I just had to move to decaf tea and coffee.

Now, I'm more alert than I was when I was caffeinated

This is the thing about studies like this. Many of these studies are rather small (and I didn't read the full studies), but I really hope they'd measure the differences between those who are heavily addicted to caffeine vs. "a cup or two per day" vs. "rarely consume caffeine or never."

Especially when you have other studies like this one [slashdot.org] , which suggests that caffeine addicts actually normally are functioning on a lower level than non-addicts, and the best they can hope for is a return to "baseline" by drinking more caffeine.

If there were differences in the napping between groups, it would be very relevant for recommendations. The danger of such studies without these kinds of nuances is you get people thinking, "I just need to drink even more coffee! And take naps!" when a more realistic recommendation would perhaps be to stop the addiction, live most of your life at a higher functioning level overall, and when you're really tired and need it, do the "caffeine nap" trick only occasionally.

Old news (1)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about a month ago | (#47784561)

This has been around for a while. Did we really need a new study to say the same thing?

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785393)

Yes, that's how science works.

Who has time for a nap? (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a month ago | (#47784731)

Who has time for a nap? lol And by the time I would try this suggestion, there would be a quart of coffee in my system already lol.

20 minute nap? (2)

LordNimon (85072) | about a month ago | (#47784825)

It takes me 20 minutes to fall asleep normally, even when I haven't had any caffeine. Not only that, but I would need to take my contact lenses out first.

Re:20 minute nap? (2)

brunes69 (86786) | about a month ago | (#47785251)

I came here to say the same thing. I find it hard to believe most people can just nap on a dime. In fact I can't sleep unless I am actually tired, I can't just "nap" at will.

Re:20 minute nap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785419)

RTFA please, they say that you have to wake up BEFORE you fully fall asleep. Just trying to sleep is enough.

Re:20 minute nap? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a month ago | (#47785901)

Have you talked to your eye doctor about the weekly/monthly lenses? I only have to take mine out once a week, and I throw them away for a fresh pair every month.

coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784897)

i don't drink coffee. can't even stand coffee flavored ice cream. i wonder how other people can stand a bitter drink or maybe my taste buds are different. lol

Re:coffee (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47784979)

For me I think back to when I was hiking in mexico and ate fresh coffee berries off of the tree. That memory takes over and drowns out the bitter flavor and voila. COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

Re:coffee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786093)

If your drink is bitter, you're not doing it right.

this will never work in IT (5, Funny)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about a month ago | (#47784919)

Ask about taking coffee naps, or even the more traditional after-lunch kind, and your employer will suspect you of being over forty.

Great! Just learn to nap on command (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month ago | (#47785111)

I just wish I could take a nap instantly. For some reason, my brain would not shut down and go to sleep on command.

Sleepspace (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | about a month ago | (#47785443)

But WHERE will the employees nap? You would have to layout cots in a grid in an open floor space so no one tries any hank panky. Not all employers have the luxury of devoting so much space to napping, though.

Never happen (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a month ago | (#47785465)

Power naps, caffeine naps, 8 hour versus 10+ hour days, etc have been studied for years and it has been scientifically proven that they improve productivity. But here is the problem: Employers are not interested in increasing productivity. They are interested in the appearance of productivity. And that means, people awake and working, with butts in chairs.

Obsession with productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785773)

Or, you know... you could just not be the ABSOLUTE MOST PRODUCTIVE YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE... ALL THE TIME.

What is with America's obsession with productivity?

Stand-up workstations are better than caffeine (2)

jtnix (173853) | about a month ago | (#47785849)

I would argue that employers are definitely interested in increased productivity from employees, but they will certainly settle for the appearance of productivity.

At the risk of going off-topic, a twice-a-day caffeine nap at work is not going to improve productivity nearly as much as a stand-up work station will. Not to mention that staying in a sedentary, sitting position 8+ hours a day is incredibly unhealthy and unnatural. Blast from the past from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2011/05/09... [mashable.com]

Is the Summary for real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785851)

It's necessary (or at least feels like it's necessary) because many workers have a hard time staying awake while sitting at a desk for hours at a time, and the alternative — naps — aren't usually allowed.

many workers can't stay awake during the day? Are you kidding me slashdot?

It takes me 30 minutes to drink a cup of coffeee.. (1)

sdguero (1112795) | about a month ago | (#47785905)

EOM

OLD News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47785975)

http://lifehacker.com/154237/take-a-caffeine-nap (Feb 11, 2006 posting)

Good Luck With That (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about a month ago | (#47786217)

After work you get home on a caffeine buzz and can't goto sleep. I'm a sleep can't sleep expert. I call BS.

Another finding (1)

instinct71 (1076915) | about a month ago | (#47786553)

coffee+nap+cigarette > coffee + nap.

One huge peoblem with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786603)

And who here can just take a nap on a dime? Hmmm? Almost no one. It makes me a few hours just to fall asleep at night. How would I take a "quick nap"? Very interesting.

Re:One huge peoblem with this. (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47786851)

Once your body is expecting a siesta you will drop right off at the designated time. It's an easy habit to get into and a very hard one to break. Back in the day we called it "meditating" rather than napping

Re: One huge peoblem with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47787011)

start by understanding sleeping is different than the nap the article is referring.

Proceed to lay down, close eyes, relax.

Worth reading Churchill and his history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786967)

Churchill wrote in some detail about the great challenges he and people around him faced. The Sea Lord Admiral Dudly pound was recorded as napping, and Churchill claimed that small sleep or naps extended his day well into the night, allowing him to work far long than single uninterrupted runs. Not many people will face those challenges, but any study of it should come out the other side that in people's exhausted lives, some rest / recovery breaks may indeed bring benefits.

I've been doing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47787127)

And I always thought I was weird because coffee makes me sleepy. I drink coffee to help digestion and against headaches. I took the sleepiness as a tolerable side effect and just took a nap when I felt like it. So apparently I've been intuitively boosting my alertness with coffee, even if I thought it doesn't work for me?

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