The love of coffee, popularized by Nespessos’ is not limited to the American accents of its ambassador George Clooney: France has 90% of caffeine consumers rejoicing, making it the second national drink after water(1). Usually as an espresso, it is consumed everywhere – at home, in restaurants, and of course at work.
Who has never heard of the famous «coffee break», a time for chatting and exchanges between employees? Beyond this social use, coffee has individual contributions that explain its popularity: it serves as a «boost» that improves productivity and can quickly become a necessity. A third of French people consider themselves to be half as efficient without their daily coffee(2).
These figures of course raise the question of coffee addiction, in particular because the tolerance effect forces us to increase consumption in order to feel the same stimulation. The virtuous drink then becomes vicious: nervousness, lack of energy and aggression are all a result of this addiction which then paralyzes productivity.
A micro-nap, Jean-Pierre?
What if the solution isn’t in more coffee, but rather in more rest? Drinking coffee to fight fatigue is accompanied by a «crash» when the caffeine dissipates. Essentially, we are only pushing the deadline and causing the harmful effects mentioned above. A simple solution is necessary: the micro-nap.
The University of California, San Diego published 2008 a study in 2008 (3) proving that napping for 60 to 90 minutes is more beneficial for learning, memorizing and performing than coffee. Too long? Doctor Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life and an edifying Tedx Talk on the subject, reminds us that a power nap of 10 to 30 minutes is also better for productivity than a coffee(4).
Coffee, sleep, work!
Coffee lovers: don’t be afraid! It is possible to bring together your passions and micro-nap with the «coffee nap», defended by a growing number of specialized studies(5). The concept: have a coffee before a 15-20 minute micro nap, the perfect time to enjoy the benefits of rest and be awake when the effect of caffeine begins to act.
This is not to completely forget about coffee, but rather to find a balance between social “coffee breaks” and solitary and excessive “coffee shoots”. To the latter, let’s start talking about micro-naps, better for productivity and mood!
So, George, our turn: « Nap, what else ? »
Our Nap references:
(1) International Coffee Organization (ICO), 2011
(2) Starbucks Study 2014
(3) Sara C. Mednick, Denise J. Cai, Jennifer Kanady et Sean P.A. Drummond (2008) “Comparing the benefits of Caffeine, Naps and Placebo on Verbal, Motor and Perceptual Memory”, Behav Brain Res, 193(1) : 79-86
(4) Sara C. Mednick, Ken Nakayama, Jose L. Cantero, Mercedes Atienza, Alicia A. Levin, Neha Pathak et Robert Stickgold (2002) “The restorative effect of naps on perceptual deterioration”, Nature Neuroscience 5, 677 – 681.
Bonnet MH, Arand DL, “The use of prophylactic naps and caffeine to maintain performance during a continuous operation”, Ergonomics, 37(6):1009-20 ; Horne JA, Reyner LA (1996), “Counteracting driver sleepiness : effects of napping, caffeine, and placebo”, Psychophysiology, 33(3) : 306-9 ; Reyner LA, Horne JA (1997), “Suppression of sleepiness in drivers : combination of caffeine with a short nap”, Psychophysiology, 34(6):721-5 ; Mitsuo Hayashi, Akiko Masuda, Tadao Hori (2003) “The alerting effects of caffeine, bright light and face washing after a short daytime nap”, Clinical Neurophysiology, Volume 114, Issue 12, 2268-2278.