3. Then more nighttime sleep
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.
Just because you feel sleepy at some point in the afternoon doesn't actually mean you're sleep deprived. About eight hours after you wake up, the body's temperature dips a little, triggering that oh-so-annoying drowsiness after lunch and smack dab in the middle of your attempts to focus and get more done in the late afternoon.
Why am I not surprised the nap wins out? For many reasons:
• Naps refresh you at a cellular level that-sorry, Mr. Joe and 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.)
• Caffeine can wear off (especially if you're so used to it) whereas the benefits of a nap may charge your battery for a longer period of time. No one gets a "high tolerance" to napping.