If a 20-minute nap, a cup of joe, and more shuteye at night were in a cage match, who would win for reducing that classic afternoon "dip"? The answer is: (in order of effectiveness)
1. Nap 小睡
2. Caffeine 咖啡
3. Then more nighttime sleep 晚上多睡会儿
A new study just released proves the power of a nap over a jolt of caffeine and even more sleep at night. It's actually the first such study to look at all three methods for combating the afternoon lull that's commonly experienced-and which is a very normal physiological response to the body cycling through its natural rhythms during the day.
Naps refresh you at a cellular level that-sorry, Soda-caffeine just can't do.
It's easier to over-sleep than you think. Biologically, the body doesn't necessarily need that extra sleep if you force yourself to sleep more at night. (And getting sufficient sleep doesn't mean your body won't go through the dip regardless; it's a natural, physiological phenomenon tied more to your circadian rhythm than to your previous night's sleep and potential sleep debt.)
But here's a big caveat: most people would probably choose caffeine over a nap, and ditch the nap entirely. Downing caffeine can be easier, quicker, and socially more acceptable in many ways. Finding a place to nap in the middle of the workday can be a challenge. And studies have also shown that when deciding between a nap and an "attractive wakeful activity," they choose the activity.
Let's face it, coffeehouses have multiple buzzes going on. People. Internet. Connectivity. Social interaction. Exchanges of ideas. And tasty treats beyond the joes and javas. Naps tend to be solitary and, dare I say, not as sexy.
But for what it's worth, hail to the nap.