Relationships

Would You Take a Coffee Nap?

napping woman

Recently, in our apartment, something very dramatic has been happening in the mornings…

I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m.

FIVE A.M. It’s still dark out. The birds aren’t even chirping.

My mind isn’t spinning; I’m still tired; but my body is awake. I don’t know what’s causing it (a magnesium deficiency? generalized anxiety? perimenopause?), but whatever the reason, for the past month, my eyes have been popping open before the crack of dawn, and I end up feeling exhausted all day.

Luckily, this morning, at our neighbor café, the barista suggested a great solution: coffee naps. Have you ever heard of them? “I discovered them in college,” she told me. “You chug a cup of coffee and immediately lie down. Set your alarm for 20 minutes. You wake up completely refreshed.”

Apparently science backs this up. Studies have shown that caffeine plus a short nap improves performance, versus just caffeine or just sleep.

So, this morning, after finishing my cold brew, I lay down for 20 minutes — and I did feel much better upon waking. Who knows? Maybe this 5 a.m. thing won’t be so bad after all.

Thoughts? Would you try a coffee nap? Have you already? What time do you wake up in the morning?

P.S. A bedtime trick that’s changing our lives, and the thing that surprised me most about my marriage.

(Photo by Reidar Pritzel.)

  1. Jennifer Ruden says...

    Hello! I read this in https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

    and thought of your new morning ritual:
    “Last summer, the journalist Daphne K. Lee tweeted about a Chinese expression that translates to “revenge bedtime procrastination.” She described it as staying up late at night to reclaim the freedom we’ve missed during the day. I’ve started to wonder if it’s not so much retaliation against a loss of control as an act of quiet defiance against languishing. It’s a search for bliss in a bleak day, connection in a lonely week, or purpose in a perpetual pandemic.”

    • Michelle says...

      I just had someone send me this same article. SO GOOD. The idea of ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’ is striking me as such a colorful description for inexplicable choices popping up in full onset adulthood. Like, I KNOW the other person to suffer when I don’t go to bed at a decent hour is me. Yet the freedom to stay up remains compelling at the oddest times in life. That said, I think we digress from the author’s issue – which I also know well. Inability to stay asleep or weirdly waking early is less a choice than a reflex. But as someone who has embraced naps of every kind pretty much since birth, I can certainly endorse the coffee nap IF you know how to manage your caffeine intake responsibly. Like any crutch, coffee isn’t a substitute for proper sleep. The other alternative is a brisk 5-7 minute walk, like late for the bus pace, THEN a nap. If you are truly fatigued, not just sleepy, the walk won’t wake you but may make the nap deeper. And if you just needed a jolt, then you may find you can skip the nap and keep pushing through.

    • Aline says...

      Thanks for sharing the article, perfectly describes how I’m feeling! I kept telling people I’m not feeling excellent but not feeling bad and got everything from funny looks to agreeing nods. I’ll just share this article in the future!

  2. Cristiana Groza says...

    Totally works. I discovered them as well in college, when I used to have 90min breaks between courses. Espresso, and then 30 minute nap works wonders!

  3. So strange I have just read this after my coffee this morning, whil struggling Real hard on keeping eyes open and typing correctly!!
    Always have my coffee 1st thing in the morning! But on sat/sun. When my body and mind knows it more restful, after my coffee I cant help to go back sleep!! Never mind nap!!!……off to pass out now…

  4. Claire Lochridge says...

    On the rare occasion that I nap, I make sure to drink a cup of coffee beforehand! I have found the same – if I fall asleep before the caffeine kicks in, I wake up feeling so refreshed. Make sure you don’t sleep too long or you just feel groggy.

  5. Jennifer says...

    oh, this sounds so depressing to me. I don’ t know why but it does!

    • Kate says...

      Naps always sound depressing to me – I don’t understand the love for them. I only nap when I’m sick.

    • Adele says...

      I’ve always loved naps (I needed a lot of sleep as a child and still do as an adult), and in recent years, I’ve considered them something closer to meditation. I don’t always fall deeply asleep, sometimes I’m in the in-between space, and it ends up just being a rest for my body.

  6. Denise says...

    I went to a lecture by Daniel Pink, who researches productivity. He calls them Nappuchinos 😆

    • Kimberly Maguire says...

      Yes! Love that term.

    • erica says...

      😁I loved the expression “napPUCHINOS”: I can use it, even here in Brazil. 😘

  7. AJ says...

    I am in awe of nappers. I love the idea of it, but I very very rarely fall asleep quickly. If I tried to nap, I’d need more than 20 minutes just to wind down, let alone drift off and stay asleep. The nap would be over before it’s begun!

    • jane says...

      Instead, give yourself permission for a 20 minute lie-down – no obligation to sleep. Pause your day and give yourself a breather, while lying down. Take a load off. A chill pill. Etc, etc : )

  8. Becca says...

    Daylight Savings reactions are real!! If we would only STAY on the time we have now life would be so much more sane!

    • Sara says...

      Except for it not getting light until almost 9 am in the winter if we did that.

      I’d rather stay on standard time all year! Who needs daylight past 9 pm in the summer? It’s craziness.

  9. I haven’t needed these kinds of naps in a long time (thanks, pandemic), but having worked in professional theatre in NYC for a long time, the combination of coffee naps + disco naps (ie, a late nap before going out) is crucial to surviving long days at the theatre. 6pm coffee+nap = ready for a 7:30pm play!

  10. Emily says...

    I would give this a try if my body could handle caffeine! I love coffee but can only drink decaf, otherwise I get incredibly anxious, have to pee all the time, and get the “coffee sweats”.

  11. Emmie says...

    My brother-in-law calls these rocket naps.

  12. Becka DeSmidt says...

    My favorite term for this is the “nappuccino” :)

  13. Works best with an espresso. A nappuccino. 😘

  14. Karin says...

    Whenever I get exhausted enough to drink coffee in the afternoon (which somehow seems “wrong” to me), I inevitably end up lying down right after drinking it, while mentally berating myself for wasting coffee and ruining my nap (“you’ll never sleep now, you just drank coffee!”). But then I always wake up refreshed about 20 minutes later. Now I know it’s a “thing,” not just me!

  15. Sarah K says...

    I am a doctor and I have never heard of this, but will definitely try it after my next night shift.

    • K says...

      It’s in the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink.

  16. Quincy says...

    Learned about coffee naps as a nurse And when my son was little, I really excelled at them. Why don’t toddlers want 20 minute naps? ;-)

  17. Ashleigh says...

    OMG I have been doing this for years!!! I just thought falling asleep on the couch after my coffee meant I was waking up too early. Love this. Cheers to coffee naps!

  18. I don’t want to create a habit of drinking coffee and napping – seems like an odd association!

  19. jdp says...

    i feel like this early wake-up thing is a pandemic pandemic. my husband, always a good sleeper, has been up at 4am every morning for weeks…

    • Agnès says...

      Absolute same in our house hold. I have always slept heavily and since novembre i m waking Ip at 4.30/5. My husband is doing the same now… covid insomnia…

  20. Katie S. says...

    I am very, very, very, very, very, very jealous of ya’ll who can fall asleep this fast. Haven’t been able to fall asleep in under 30 minutes since I was a child!

    • Emily says...

      Same!! I’m the worst napper. When I finally do fall asleep it’s for a couple hours and then I wake up super cranky.

    • AJ says...

      Same also! Just posted a comment saying this – so glad there are more of us! It’s surprising we are seemingly the minority though. How is everyone so good at sleeping?!

    • Ingrid says...

      Yes! It takes way longer than 20 minutes for me to fall asleep! Joanna is lucky to wake up at 5. I wake up at 4 and can’t get back to sleep! (And sometimes I can’t get to sleep until after midnight.) Yawn!!!

  21. Kari says...

    Yes!! I’m a lover as naps as it is, but nothing is as effective as a coffee nap. The caffeine is hitting just as you wake up so you get a double dose of feeling refreshed. It’s my go to when I have lots to do (as opposed to my favourite nap, the luxurious 2 hour “sleep”).

    • jane says...

      Caffiene hits me two sips in – must be a metabolism thing.

  22. Lynnette says...

    I’ve been taking caffeine naps since college! Since starting to work from home I’ve been incorporating them into my morning routine as well! I wake up between 4:30 and 5 to take my dog on a long walk by the beach, we get back and play and train together. Then I enjoy my coffee and head back to bed to take a nap! It’s the best routine

  23. Laura says...

    Last summer my 6 month old was in the habit of waking up around 5 or 5:30, so we would get out and take a walk together. It was so nice to have quiet time with her before the rest of the family woke up, and often we would walk to a nearby bagel shop for fresh bagels. I am totally not a morning person, but for whatever weird biological reason I had no issues with it. I don’t know what the difference is, but since the fall I’ve been back to being totally NOT a morning person, no matter how early I go to sleep. I’m really hoping to get back to the early rising pattern this summer because it was such a pleasant way to start the day.

    • Ali says...

      This is so sweet. Way to embrace a fleeting moment with your toddler!

  24. Amanda says...

    Coffee naps are the BEST. I work full-time and I’m in grad school, so I have been taking full advantage of working from home and taking at least two or three coffee naps a week.

  25. Shannon says...

    Yes! Coffee naps are real and amazing when the stars align in a way that allows you to take one.

  26. Alice says...

    I am an epic napper. It’s one of my major skills in life- I can literally fall asleep ANYWHERE, at any time, with minimal difficulty and I NEVER wake up grumpy. One of my favourite things to do is to take an 8 minute nap- I set a timer, lie down and close my eyes and kind of zone out into a meditative-ish state. It’s not a deep sleep, but it’s incredibly refreshing, really time efficient, and helps me to power through if my energy levels are really low. Everyone thinks it’s weird, but I love my ability to nap!

    • Capucine says...

      I’m built that way, too, and one of my brothers. We can drop everything and nap anywhere. I consider it a super power, after the years of traveling I’ve done, when you are tired in transit just collapse atop your pile of luggage and poof! But then, kids. No napping unless they are napping! And alas one of my kids takes after my husband (who gets it from his mom) and gets up at 5:45 on the dot without an alarm and never needs a nap, while my youngest is exactly like me…but all it takes is one kid who isn’t a sleeper and ain’t nobody sleeping. The genetics of sleep are surprisingly distinct!

    • cs says...

      “The genetics of sleep are surprisingly distinct!” So perfectly worded. My husband is like his dad… wakes up at 5:00 no matter when he gets to bed… even if it was late. Me (from a long line of night owls), I can’t get to bed early no matter what time I have to wake up. If I were a coffee drinker I’d be all over this coffee nap idea. Actually, My brother had mentioned this a few years ago – his love of coffee naps. I didn’t really believe him till now. Lol

    • ÉRICA FERNANDA PACHECO DE MELO says...

      Only in my dreams! Fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Here in Goiânia, we are at 35º Celsius(96Fahrenheit), what cannot make things easier; how is the wheather/temperature in your home?

  27. Jennifer says...

    Yes!! My coworker told me about these years ago and they work so well!!

  28. Mairead says...

    I’m sure I’ve seen that advice on road signage on Motorways in the UK as part of a Speed Kills campaign – Pull over to the Services, drink a coffee, have a 20 min nap and continue your journey.

  29. Morgan L Steele says...

    Been doing this since college! Works wonders for this tired law student!

  30. Geraldine says...

    Why do you call your house an apartment?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It’s an apartment because it is part of a larger building (we have upstairs neighbors). It’s only considered a house if you occupy the whole building. Sometimes I call it house anyway though!

  31. Sofija says...

    I’ve been getting up at 5am every morning as well- I’ve never tried a coffee nap! Maybe I should? :)

  32. Malissa says...

    I would LOVE a coffee nap…. but I’m so sensitive to coffee that I can only drink one cup at, you guessed it, the CRACK OF DAWN when I too am now waking up. I’m 42 and I do think something whacky is going on?! I’m like: So. This is it? I’m going to do this until I die, probably? UGH!

    • florrie says...

      I’m 51. Don’t worry it doesn’t last forever and the strange sleeping patterns will come and go. My advice is to observe them so that you are better equipped for the next time. And when they come, try to appreciate those hours by reading or meditating rather than stressing yourself trying to sleep. This perimenopause thing is a wild ride.

    • Trudy says...

      Sorry to say: If peri-menopause hormones are disrupting your sleep, then you probably will not be doing this until you die. Instead, as your hormones change, your sleep patterns will change too. For me, and for my best friend, the period of wakefulness remains, but the time period shifts. In the beginning I woke up just before 3:00 am, and went back to sleep at 5:00-ish. After a lifetime of waking up at 6:13 am every day without an alarm clock! Eventually I put a tv in the bedroom to watch Turner Classic Movies 3:00 am movie. My friend actually got up and worked on a novel! We are well past menopause, but the sleep disruptions continue for both of us and other friends, too. Historically many people experienced these periods of wakefullness and a “second sleep;” it is well documented. But it makes keeping time with the modern world very challenging.

  33. Hannah says...

    My husband does this! He does it in the afternoon, when fatigue hits hard.
    And I used to do this back when we could still go out. Before meeting my friends for cocktails or dancing or whatever, I’d drink an espresso, lie down for a quick nap and I’d be good to go for the whole night. Works wonders.

  34. Nina says...

    tsk tsk coffee naps, it’s called a nappuccino! works best with an espresso, doesn’t work at all if you try to make your coffee last as long as possible (like me) or if it takes you half an hour to fall asleep (also like me).
    more fun coffee words: the dutch often refer to coffee as ‘een bakkie troost’ or ‘a cup of consolation’.

    • Court says...

      nappuccino!

  35. Katha says...

    I LIVE FOR NAPS! 20 minutes hit the sweet spot for me. I love taking a nap after lunch and then drinking a coffee after, but before works well too. I love taking a nap after breakfast on the weekend. I love naps, did I mention?!

  36. Karen van Delft says...

    I always do this! It’s absolutely the best. Just don’t take too long between coffee and nap. It’s so refreshing!

  37. Jennifer says...

    Night shift nurses with 30 minute breaks excel at coffee naps! I also liked to do this before an evening out, pre-COVID times.

  38. Sookiestackhouse says...

    I requested a post on the same topic a while ago! Would love a discussion on this.

    • Sookiestackhouse says...

      *A post on peri-menopause

    • Robin says...

      Seconded! I’m 42 and feeling like I should know more about this …

    • Hillary Jackson says...

      Go to the Design Mom blog as she has a great post on this….

  39. Oki says...

    Oooh, this happened to me five years ago… I would wake up for no reason and couldn’t go back to sleep. At first I would just lie down until my normal wake up time, but when this phase lasted a bit longer, I decided to do something with that extra time.

    I had been eyeing Kayla Itsines’ BBG program for some time (thanks to a Friday link you posted) and this was the final push I needed to try it out. I started going to the park and train early when everybody was still asleep. The feeling was AMAZING! I would come back to have breakfast with the rest of my family and I felt so good: I had seen the sunrise, I felt energized and I had extra time to myself. By the end of the summer my regular sleeping pattern had come back, but I never stopped training (at different times of the day, though).

    My story is far away from the coffee nap but I’m glad to share it with you because it all started with that link to Kayla’s program that you shared (THANK YOU SO MUCH!) and that sleep disruption was the kick I needed to try it out.

    Thanks for the consistently relevant/fun/spot on articles. I am a looong time reader and this is the only blog that has followed me all these years.

  40. rachel simmons says...

    YES YES YES!! I have done this, not knowing the science or method behind it, because we have a BABY! And sometimes He is up VERY early.. theyre AMAZING!

  41. Kaitlin says...

    Coffee naps are straight up how I have managed to cope with pandemic weekends with my toddler. She goes down at 3, I take my coffee and books to put her down, have a 20 minute nap and wake up with 90 minutes left and the energy of someone who got a full night sleep. (Of course, I crash after she goes to bed at 10, but let’s ignore that, shall we?)

  42. Alex says...

    Oh yeah love a good ol’ caff nap!

  43. Rebecca says...

    YES to this. It helps me fall back asleep too!

  44. Holly says...

    I have been taking “coffee naps” on the weekend forever, but had no idea it was a thing. I am exhausted, so I drink a cup of coffee, but it does nothing so I nap for 15 to 20 minutes and no need to set an alarm, I just naturally wake up at that time and it does feel good. I also wake up at 5am often, so I meditate and usually fall asleep about 30 minutes later.

  45. Cecily says...

    I LOVE naps and I usually start crashing around 2:30-3pm at work, I work in a hospital though and prime napping spots are hard to come by! I imagine myself chugging a coffee at 2:30 and then someone finds me asleep in an unused patient room at 3. Worth it? More likely I would just put my head down and have a nice desk nap and hope my coworkers are compassionate enough to let me sleep for 20 minutes! A girl can dream.

  46. Jill says...

    Love this and crave the day when my children are old enough so I can coffee nap again!

    In other news – can we talk more about perimenopause? I could really use a CoJ perspective and comment section it it – please and thank you!

    • Annie says...

      Yes please!!

    • Amy says...

      +1 to perimenopause! I’m 35 and wake up 10+ times a month between 1-3am and struggle to get back to sleep.

    • malissa says...

      YES! THIS would be a great place to have a little mini check in. It’s time… haha.

    • Kim says...

      Yes please!

  47. Christa says...

    I highly suggest the self pleasure nap in place of the coffee nap, though I do love me some caffeine. I will often wake up at the crack of dawn too—my husband is an early bird so I think that has something to do with it. He’s out of bed and I get myself going, have an orgasm, and then blissfully fall back asleep for a bit longer and wake up refreshed and ready for my coffee. Bonus: I feel more turned on throughout my day.

    • KF says...

      I do this too when the mood hits me. The best way to start the day. Loving yourself 🥰

  48. Emily says...

    I have the most horrible, disturbing dreams when I’ve just had caffeine. It’s a no from me! Prefer to use my just-had-coffee energy while awake.

  49. Kai says...

    Ohhhhh, the old 5am rise to slink around the house and do cool stuff guilt-free while your kids and partner sleep? I know that hour. I realized the other morning that what makes it so special is that it’s the only time where there’s nothing else I’m supposed to be doing because I’m not even really supposed to be awake. So leisurely watch Ru-Paul’s Drag race, or make some scones that nobody expects, or peruse a novel. It’s completely unrestrained by the expectations of my beloved, sleeping family.

    • Una says...

      Your description of this time is so delightful I’ve set an alarm. (Good luck to my future self!)

    • Lorraine says...

      I would love to do this, although I swear if I so much as reach for my phone upon waking, my 4-year-old springs out of her room and bounces onto my bed

  50. Melinda says...

    Ohhhh INNNNNteresting. I’ve done this accidentally quite a lot recently… chugging coffee then falling asleep when my baby has her first nap and waking up a) surprised I could sleep after coffee and b) feeling surprisingly ok. Shoutout to everyone with tiny kids who are sleep deprived beyond description.

  51. Alina says...

    Coffee naps are the MOST amazing if they work for you. I think I took a coffee nap after work 3 or 4 times a week my first year of teaching. It was one of the only things that kept me sane that year! Fingers crossed they work for you too.

  52. I have taken a coffee nap on occasion and they do really work! Sometimes I don’t fall asleep but I still find the 20 minute lie down with eyes closed relaxing. I used to do them more when I still had classes on top of research in the grad student, don’t ask me where that hidden couch in the library is…

  53. Rachel says...

    On a pretty regular basis my husband will get up and get ready for work, drink coffee, say goodbye, walk out to the elevator….and then come right back into our apartment saying “actually I think I might just lie down for a quick coffee nap before I go”. I definitely endorse coffee naps but find it hilarious that he doesn’t decide to do it until after he has started to face the outside world, and realizes he is not ready!

  54. Courtenay says...

    If anxiety and exhaustion is building up sometimes I just need a quick power nap to ease it. I have one hour lunch breaks and have the nap system down: 1) eat lunch in the car to save time 2) get home and tell the husband I’m here for a nap and not to chat 3) curl up on the couch with my weighted blanket and ear plugs 4) don’t forget to set alarm on phone! 5) snooze for 20-25 minutes 6) rush back to work hoping I don’t have a pillow mark on my face!

  55. Kate says...

    THE SAME THING HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO ME! But I’ve been waking up at 5:30am. On the dot… without an alarm. What else can you do but take a mid morning nap? It’s so wild! I think it’s just the change in season. These Spring vibes are feeling so good right now.

  56. Claire says...

    My mom has often done this, but in the afternoons. She will have a cup of coffee after she finishes teaching for the day at home (4 p.m.) and take a 20-minute nap in front of the TV.

  57. Adrienne says...

    We call these “nap-puccinos” in our house!

  58. Jessie says...

    I worked night shift for 10 years as a RN. This is DEFINITELY a thing, and a total game changer :)

  59. Alice says...

    Yup! They work wonders for me. Last time I did a coffee nap, I was so tired that I must have fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I woke up naturally 20 minutes later and was SHOCKED that the whole afternoon hadn’t gone by, I was so refreshed!! Good luck!

  60. Anita says...

    I am so intrigued. Re: the idea that caffeine kicks in 20 minutes past ingestion, does anyone know if it is important to “chug” the coffee. If you sip your coffee slowly would this throw the timing off? Curious. Want to try this.

    • Mado says...

      I have never chugged a coffee but I have accidentally taken a coffee nap. But maybe drinking it over a short period of time (like an hour vs sipping it all morning)?

  61. Angela says...

    Ugh I’ve been waking up anywhere between 4AM to 6AM (I don’t have to get up until 7AM). If it’s before 6, I will lay in bed and usually I fall back asleep. If it’s close to 6, I either lay in bed and try to enjoy my bed until my alarm goes off or if I’m feeling anxious, I start getting ready for the day. Once I’m done getting ready, I lay down on the couch and relax or nap until I have to log in for work (aka.. my coffee nap). I don’t know if I feel more awake, but I try to re-frame it as extra time for relaxing or being cozy in bed instead of getting angry about why my stupid brain is waking up.

  62. Stacey Kim says...

    Yes! I call them nap-uccinos.

  63. Catherine says...

    For a good portion of my adult life, I had to wake up between 5 and 6 am for school and work. I got really used to it, so now my weekday routine is to wake up at 5:30 to shower and get dressed for the day. When my husband and kids wake up at 6:30, I’m ready. But on the weekends, I love to sleep in and be very lazy.

    • Kate says...

      I would love to do this – take care of all my own “getting ready needs” before I have to be on for my family. I’ve tried, but always end up waking my husband. He says he doesn’t mind, but I feel bad! Do you have any tips? Do you put your clothes and whatever you need in a different room the night before?

  64. JR says...

    @Hilary I loved reading your comment! I’m a happy morning person but your friend’s morning rituals are Next Level in joy!

    • LC says...

      I agree!! Hilary – your comment made me smile. I feel so inspired to infuse my life with these simple joys that your friend has! Thank you! :)

  65. Amanda says...

    Yes! I love these. The caffeine hits your system just as the 20 minutes is up. I set an alarm to make sure I’m back up, and the trick is a mediation app to fall asleep within 5-10 minutes (I love the 5-10 minute sleep meditations on Peloton!)

  66. Angela says...

    I’ve been waking up at 4! It’s terrible! I will have to try this tomorrow morning since I start work at noon.

  67. OK, so I didn’t realize this was a thing but I fully recommend it! I wake up at 6am, drink a cup of coffee while taking my kids to carpool at 7:15am, then nap on my sofa until 8:30, shower, and log on for work at 9am. It. Works.

  68. kerry says...

    This happens to me in phases! My advice: Instead of lying there (unsuccessfully) trying to fall back to sleep or scrolling through instagram, facebook and email, pick up your kindle and read! It kept my mind off my to-do’s, I enjoyed myself and I didn’t have to get out of bed so perhaps it still counts as much-needed rest. I finished so many books that I never would have otherwise, and often the reading would make me fall back asleep!

  69. Kristin says...

    My husband and I have been getting up at 5am everyday for the past month to take our new puppy out to do his business. Sounds like your body is telling you that you need a puppy in your life!

    • Kirstin says...

      You are so smart! This is exactly what is going on!

  70. Amanda says...

    Me too! Enough people have mentioned to me that they’ve been waking up in the 5 o’clock hour over the the last few weeks (men included) that I’m convinced it has to do with the time change.

  71. Sadie says...

    I cannot imagine falling asleep in under 20 minutes!

    • Amanda says...

      Me either! Just my luck I’d be laying there when the caffeine hit and I’d be an anxious tired mess for the rest of the day.

    • Amy says...

      Same! How do people fall asleep intentionally! I would never be able to try to fall asleep, especially knowing that I have to wake up in 20 minutes.

  72. AN says...

    Hi Mikayla- I belong to the same club :) I read somewhere that our sleep patterns and what times of the day a person is active is dependent on their Myers-Briggs personality, in case you are interested.

    In my case, after trying for many years I made peace to be an 8AM person. I would rather wake up at 8AM and be happy and productive till 5PM than be grumpy and self-critical waking up at 6AM.

    @julie – hooray to the night owl club :)

    • Lia says...

      Night owl here…SAME. I had to get up for a training at 5:30 am last week – I was a mess.

  73. Jacqueline Berman says...

    I feel this so much! I have had so many life phases (college, starting a business, having a baby) and with each one I hate early mornings still. I’ve concluded that I will do when necessary but in general, do not wake me before 7am k thx byeeeee

  74. Isabelle says...

    For three years, I worked as the producer of a radio morning show and I had to get up at 3:15 a.m. five days a week. I always took a “nap” in the afternoon, but I’ve never been good at falling asleep quickly and usually my nap consisted of light dozing. Thankfully that did help me feel a bit more refreshed to make it through to my 8 pm deadline. The host of our show told me he took coffee naps, and it sounded crazy to me! I tried it once, but it didn’t really work for me. Good luck with the sleep!!

    • Genevieve says...

      You got up at 3:15am for work and then worked until 8pm??? How is that legal

  75. Chris says...

    When I was a kid my mom always woke early…like 4:00 AM. I never thought too much about it until I was a single parent of 3 and had a full time job. I was lamenting to her about my lack of me time. By the night, after baths were given and homework done, stories read…I could barely keep my eyes open, never mind read a book. She said “why do you think I always got up so early when you guys were little?” Game changer indeed. I started setting my alarm for 4:00AM. Made my coffee, sit in my chair and read. Ahhh. I was so much more relaxed and ready to face the mornings with missing shoes or melt downs. Surprise! It made the kids more relaxed and happy too. Now they are grown and out of the house and I still get up at 4:00 AM. It is the most peaceful time of the day. And yup – some days those coffee naps happen at about 8:30 or 9:00 – not every day. But sometimes you just need a nap.

    • JR says...

      I’m naturally a morning person but there’s so much running around for kids, starting the day….I’m waking up between 4-5am now and I say to myself that the time from 4-5am is MINE! So if I feel like puttering about, making a lavish breakfast, or just sleeping in…it just feels different knowing it’s me time. Your mom is a smart cookie!

    • Katha says...

      Oh I love the idea of getting up at least a little bit earlier than the rest of the family. I’m a morning person and getting up with the first kid waking up around 06:15h is not a problem. BUT we are very much co-sleeping – even more now during the pandemic where everyone’s axiety levels seem to be up (subconsciously) – and every time I try to get up earlier one of the kids will follow. It has been like this forever.

  76. Monica says...

    Hi Joanna! I see you like cold brew and I wanted to recommend this female owned cold brew coffee, The Sisteryard Coffee; they recently relocated to NYC and it’s honestly the most amazing coffee. It’s brewed in coconut water, I think you’d like it! They deliver it!

  77. Tessa says...

    You need to read ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker (it’s on Bill Gates recommended reading lists). Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It’s more important that you fix your sleep, rather than fix the tiredness from lack of sleep. Your health and well-being depend on it!

  78. millie says...

    my mother used to swear by these!

  79. Emily R says...

    I take a nap or two every day! And caffeine has minimal effect on me, so I can drink a gallon of coffee and sleep soundly.

  80. Sarah says...

    I love my caffeine naps! I am a very early riser and some days I will have a strong tea mid-afternoon then lie down for 20 min and wake totally refreshed. I’ve now built my work day around my mini-nap!

  81. Katie says...

    Omg me too! – frequent night waking and up at 530. I figured it was post baby issue (tho he’s nearly a year!) Maybe it’s more covid/USA insanity from what I’m reading in the comments! Solidarity sisters

  82. Mikayla Kim says...

    How are the CoJ posts so in sync with my random life? I have started (purposefully) getting up at 6am for the first time in a LONG while. I know it is truly not that early. And I always read about the benefits of the peace and quiet, setting intentions for the day, blah blah blah – but I still hate it. I wake up zombified and resentfully shower, slurp coffee, and wait for the benefits of this “better schedule” while I prevent myself from nodding off for the next few hours. People tell me to give it time, set my habits, and so I give it three months – and still hate it!

    I have been through this cycle so many times. Anybody have any tips out there to actually enjoy this habit? I have tried going to bed earlier, avoiding sleeping in on the weekends, limiting my alcohol/sweets in the evening. Am I just a lost cause for joining this wonderful morning-people club?

    • julie says...

      As a member of the Night Owl Club, I encourage you to join. We don’t get so many accolades, but it’s not a bad club to be in. ;)

    • Kathy says...

      I feel you, Mikayla! I WANT to be a happy morning person, but when I wake up early, I just don’t get it.

    • Hilary says...

      I love that you asked this question because I (an early morning happy person) think this is about choice and my husband (a lifelong morning grump) thinks this is simply about your innate and unchangeable wiring. But he’s wrong and here is why:

      For many years, I was the family outlier, the morning grouch from a family of happy risers. From middle school to college, I relished in my curmudgeonly ways and blamed everything on not being a morning person. But then I spent a weekend in LA with my best friend and she is truly pleasant in the morning! She wears beautiful pajamas, listens to fun music, she buys bougie coffee creamer and has her coffee on a timer so it’s hot and fresh the minute she steps out of the shower, she opens her windows to hear the birds sing, she has fun towels, beautiful makeup brushes, she lays out her outfit and packs her lunch the night before so it’s all waiting for her. And being in her presence in the morning made me realize that not only was my grumping awful for others to be around, but it was awful FOR ME TOO. Like, the idea that I could *choose* to set myself up for success the night before, invest in nice things, and help myself enjoy my mornings has changed my life.

      The idea of waking up, meditating, setting my intentions and watching the sun rise sounds – forgive the pun – like a bleeping snooze. Hard pass. But Motown, luxurious makeup, dancing and fancy coffee have turned my mornings into a party!

      I know this to be true: you can learn to love something you hate if you Find The Fun! And I know because that LA weekend was 14 years ago and I have actively chosen to be a morning person every day ever since.

    • Emily R says...

      I’ve been trying to wake up at 6 am for 20 years. Still exhausted, still not a morning person. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea recently (which is annoying since I’m a woman, thin and a side sleeper). Got a cpap, and was ready to embrace my new life as a morning person. But NOT A CHANCE. I still would rather get up at eight or nine thank you very much.

    • Meg says...

      Mikayla – maybe you’re just not a morning person, and that’s fine! Morning people just tend to be *louder* about their preferences than night-owls, in my experience, but that doesn’t mean that early mornings are any better than late nights. Is there a time of the day that you feel most yourself, most able to enjoy little pleasures? That’s your time! No shame if it’s not mornings.

    • Larissa says...

      I’ve had a similar experience, Mikayla! Honestly, nothing has worked for me. I’ve just finally given up and embraced being a night owl—and it’s so glorious! 6 a.m. may be the most peaceful time of day for some people, but I love nothing more than staying up late after everyone else has gone to bed.

    • Jasna says...

      @Hilary Thank you so much for this amazingly uplifting comment! You have such way with words – I was literally there with your friend, enjoying the sight of her beautiful pajamas, smelling her coffee…this whole scene brought a warmth of the “before times” to my heart that I haven’t felt this whole year, being in dreadful house clothes all days long (working from home). This comment inspired me to start making some changes. I am indeed a morning person but working from home for this long made me sort of “dusty” and slugish and a shadow of my former self. Hope I can snap out of this rut.

    • Amy says...

      I am with you Mikayla! As I type this at 11:57pm… I also find that I most often get into my work flow after everyone has gone to bed. It’s really hard for me to find that flow during the day for some reason. But at night, I’m a machine! Able to focus on really tough tasks and do deep thinking. Which requires me to sleep in in the mornings! I think it must be a physiological thing…at least that’s what I tell myself and my early rising husband.

    • Mikayla says...

      Thank you for all your perspectives and encouragement! I’m going to stick with my early rising for a little while longer and try to find a routine that helps me find my joy like you suggested, Hilary. But I will be keeping my mind open to the simple fact that I just might not be a morning person and try to find my groove at other times of the day. Despite my earlier post, I haven’t actually tried out the Night Owl routine either – lots of room for experimentation!

  83. Sylvia says...

    Yes to the early waking! 4.50 am today. I love the quiet time to have a cup of tea and read, our house is so small that there’s no way I could do any chores or exercise without waking everyone up, so it’s a great excuse to laze about. What I don’t love is the crash of exhaustion and frayed tempers at 5pm when neither I nor my 3 year old have napped.

  84. Shelley says...

    This is the only way to nap! Otherwise I feel like I wake up in another dimension and in a terrible mood.

  85. my organic chemistry professor taught me about these! I end up being too wired to sleep personally but I’ve been awake at 5 every morning this week so maybe I should give it a shot?

  86. Amanda says...

    What is with the 5am thing?? It is happening to me too! Eyes pop open, look over, 5 am on the dot every time. My alarm is set for 6:00. I do not feel ready to wake up but it’s happening all the same.

  87. There are only two conditions when I’ll actually fall asleep when trying to take a nap:
    1) I’m sick with the flu.
    2) I’ve just had a big cup of black coffee.
    I love that you’ve taught us that #2 is backed by SCIENCE.

  88. Amy says...

    Girl–besides naps, have you tried a magnesium supplement? We’re about the same age and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I was having huge anxiety and other perimenopausal mood symptoms and a single daily supplement, nothing fancy, has me back to normal. Almost better than normal I think :) I’m telling everyone, lol.

    • Sarah says...

      Hi! What’s the dose of magnesium? Thanks :)

  89. Becky says...

    My dad is the king of 20 min power naps. I remember being in my early 20s, waking up at 630 (which felt early!) leaving at 730 and my dad was on his first power nap! He was waking up at 430 and would immediately complete exercises for his back. Many decades ago my dad broke his back (fell down a flight of steps) and swears by daily exercise and not staying in bed too long. There would be a few more power naps and in bed by 9/10pm. I’ve become an early bird, 5am is awesome! But have failed to learn how to power nap. I’m out for 3 hours 😂

  90. Julia says...

    I’ve had this! For me, it had probably something to do with the changing to wintertime (but I don’t know if you do this in the US)
    It lasted three months and then it just stopped. Bizar and frustrating! Hopefully it will pass soon for you!

  91. AN says...

    Related, might Cup of Jo consider a deeper post on signs of perimenopause? One of my best friends was going out of her mind from lack of sleep, then paranoia around driving her kids around, etc., saw doctors galore, and finally a neurologist gave her a list of perimenopause signs (which no other doctor had shared? WTAF?!?) and she cried with relief before embarking on a regimen toward feeling better. Why don’t we know this stuff widely?!?

    • HA says...

      Wow, you caught my eye with paranoia around driving. Same here. I second this request for a deeper dive!

    • Isabelle B Gallant says...

      Totally third this. I just pre-ordered Perimenopause Power by Maisie Hill. I’m halfway through her book Period Power and totally loving it.

    • Jennifer Vercelli says...

      Yes yes yes! I started perimenopause symptoms in 2019 and was going crazy with the weird sleep changes, emotions all over the place etc. My doctor barely gave it 2 seconds. It would have been so reassuring and saved a lot of angst to learn about this beforehand and what to expect.

    • Tamara says...

      Yes! Please! Deep dive into peri menopause!

    • Jen says...

      YES PLEASE! This feels like the ideal forum to receive this info. The same way no one tells you how hard it can be to get pregnant, no one talks about menopause.

    • Inbar Niv says...

      Yes!! I’ve been dealing with peri menopause for a couple of years- the sleep, aches and pains, brain fog, overwhelm, anxiety.. we need to talk about this! It’s alarming how little not just us chicks know about it, but how little our medical peeps do. It’s another reason we need more girls in STEM, the research on female hormones is in its infancy, I feel hopeful our girls will be better placed with knowledge and choices of treatment/ support.

      Estrogen is quite magical and when it drops it affects all our systems… they’ve even found that women who are on HRT suffer less severely from COVID, and respond better to treatment, why? Because estrogen supports a more robust immune system.

      On a slightly different note, when I can’t sleep, I use the chance to head outside and look for a cheeky Wombat that has been pooping on our driveway for months! One morning I saw him, he looked embarrassed.

    • kim says...

      I echo all of these other comments. I thought I was only one who suddenly feared her ability to drive. I thought it had to do with less driving due to the pandemic but I started peri-menopause in June 2020 so who knows. Plus a myriad of other issues. Surprise….migraines don’t magically disappear with your period. And then double in intensity when the period makes a bloody comeback after 6 months. ugh.

  92. Sarah says...

    Since you mentioned it – I take a 250mg magnesium nightly / every other night and it’s really helped my sleep greatly, along with a 10mg melatonin (extended release – so it helps you fall AND stay asleep). The magnesium helps me relax my muscles so I can sleep – I often feel restless in bed, not full on restless leg syndrome but something like it, and the magnesium helps. Suggest giving both a try!

    • Em says...

      What type of magnesium are you taking Sarah? I’ve tried both glycinate and citrate and haven’t noticed much difference.

  93. Abby Boler says...

    THIS WORKS!

  94. Angela says...

    Somewhat off topic….but whenever I get up early to sip on my coffee, I always end up leafing through old issues of Anthology Magazine. Does anyone else remember this publication? It feels like a blog in magazine form. Joy Cho was an editor, I believe…

    • Danielle says...

      I loved that magazine!

    • NancyD says...

      I loved it too. And I like to leaf through my stack of them every now and then…

  95. Sarah says...

    My sleep quality was pretty poor. I started weight training twice a week on top of the cardio I was already doing. Bam! Problem solved. They’re calling weight training the miracle pill of the 2020’s and I can see why.

    • Yulia says...

      Curious why this works. Do you know?

  96. kiki says...

    I do this with early morning flights! I order coffee at the airport in a warm thermos, walk on the flight, drink some while taxing, and then fall asleep once we’ve taken off. I usually wake up about 20-30min later refreshed and ready! Of course, this was back when business travel was still a thing…

  97. Vicki says...

    Yes! I’ve done this it works! (Maybe not chugging the coffee-ha) but cup or even just half cup of coffee and a nap – and there is no post nap grogginess
    I also started getting up early with my babies and it just became routine. I like being able to either get a really focused start to the day (no one is texting you or emailing at 5am) so whether Im just reading for pleasure or starting a work project early(I work flexible hours) it feels like my time

  98. Anne says...

    Even without caffeine, I find that a post-breakfast nap makes a HUGE difference in my energy level. Yesterday I woke up feeling terrible, dragged myself to the gym and did a crappy workout, and still felt crummy so I went back to bed for 20 minutes. I woke up feeling amazing!

    I have some half-baked theories that maybe it has to do with waking up at the wrong time of the REM cycle or something, and a nap lets my body reset. Whatever the cause, I swear by it.

  99. Alyssa says...

    I wake up naturally between 5-5:30 most mornings if I haven’t had alcohol the night before. I cherish the 1.5-2 hours I have alone by myself in the morning. I make a latte and sit and read in peace and quiet and watch the sun rise, or I get in a 30 minute at home workout or run and get the kids breakfasts and lunches made before they wake up. That way I feel refreshed, like I’ve had my “me” time and am ready to snuggle the kids when they stumble up the stairs in their sweet sleepy morning mode.

  100. Leslie says...

    I get up at 5am to work out… maybe try to embrace it for now and go for a run? If nothing else, it seems like it would make you more tired at bedtime.

  101. Ann says...

    I guess I unknowingly took coffee naps. Lol.

  102. Anna says...

    I have not tried this! Just want to say that this is my favorite kind of COJ content. Not that all the other kinds of content aren’t wonderful! But these sorts of fun, surprising self care tidbits that a best friend would share over drinks or on a long walk are my favorite. :)

    • sp says...

      mine, too!

    • Mandy says...

      Same! I find these posts exactly that, a chat with a friend!

    • Amy says...

      Me three!

  103. Obra says...

    Long term reader — since when did you start drinking coffee?!?! :)

    • Jessica says...

      Right???? I thought she hated it!

    • Rachel says...

      There was this whole post about how she started drinking it recently and got into it during quarantine! Hahaha I love other long time readers :)

  104. Beth says...

    Don’t drink coffee but I’ve done this exact thing with excedrin for years!! If I feel a headache coming on, I’ll pop half a dose and immediately lay down, with something covering my eyes. I usually wake up naturally in ~30 minutes when the caffeine hits and I feel so good!

  105. Thomas says...

    Yes!! Been doing this for a while and it truly works. Highly recommend!

  106. Denise says...

    I’ve been doing this on my days off work. I naturally get up super early, putter around the house, water the plants etc.. have a cup of coffee & PB toast, and then nap for about an hour around 9:30 am. It’s so refreshing. Unfortunately on work days that won’t fly and I’ve felt a little silly napping so early in the day but my weekends are transformed by the extra rest in the mornings.

  107. Hali says...

    I had a roommate that would take coffee naps all the time! He said the “20 mins” was in time for the coffee to kick in, so you wake up super alert. I’ve never tried it because it takes me like 20 mins to fall asleep so what’s the point?! The 5am wakeup thing happened to me when I was pregnant and drove me crazy because all i did was stress about the fact that I wasn’t sleeping. My doctor said it was hormones. Hormones are the worst.

    • Karen says...

      Exactly! It takes me at least 20 minutes (or more) just to FALL asleep!

  108. Rachel says...

    I must be a genius, I totally do this! I didn’t even know it was a “thing”/napaccino! I wake up feeling way better. But it can be a nap of no more than 20 minutes, otherwise I am groggy. Hope it helps you get through your day.

    • Caraline says...

      Napaccino is greatt! :)

    • Pamela says...

      Nappocino!!!

  109. Kate says...

    I’ve heard of this. I’m sadly not a napper, it sounds so easy: drink coffee, nap for 20 minutes. I’ve tried it but it looks like: drink coffee, lay down and wait for the alarm to go off in 20 minutes.

    I’m also awakening much earlier lately! I just ordered Mary Oliver’s collection of poems ‘Why I Wake Early’ so hopefully I’ll find motivation to actually get out of bed!

  110. Ellen says...

    Yes on coffee naps! But I take mine in the late afternoon. Gah, just realized that it now replaces the disco naps of my 20s. HAHAHAHAHA

    • Y says...

      Oh Ellen that is true! How did I come home at 6 am, go to work, take a power nap after work and go out again the next night?!

    • Erin says...

      Disco naps! LOLOLOL. Thank you, Ellen, you just made my day. :)

  111. Katie says...

    Joanna, this EXACT same thing has been happening to me. My body wakes me up at 5 am and I’m not exactly wide-awake or tired, just…. up. I like having the extra time in the morning to read, work out, and just exist before the rest of the world wakes up, but I’m often tired by midday. Little naps have been sustaining me, as well as long walks around my neighborhood (shout out to Riverside Park!). I find that a combination of sunshine, coffee, and rest do wonders!

  112. celeste says...

    That makes sense :) I wake at 6:30 when my beagle needs to go out and have been having another coffee as I prep dinner. Midwest workdays start at 8:30 or 9 though, so no time to lie down. :)

  113. Carole says...

    Yes I have done this!! Not in the morning but in the afternoon on a weekend. My husband and I saw something about it on a TV show and gave it a try. It really does work like a charm!

  114. SJ says...

    That is so interesting – are you supposed to fall into a deep sleep or is it ok to just lie down and close your eyes? I’m wondering if I’d fall asleep after having a cup of coffee.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      The studies were saying the caffeine doesn’t kick in for 20-30 mins so you have time to sleep. But fwiw I just lay there today and it still helped.

    • SJ says...

      Gotcha! Thank you, Joanna!

  115. HJM says...

    If I’m feeling tired but I still need to finish my day, I like to take a quick nap with my feet elevated above my heart. I read somewhere a long time a go that somehow the circulation helps you feel refreshed!

  116. Mel says...

    Craig Canapari, a pediatric sleep doctor with a fantastic blog, calls these napuccinos. A small amount of caffeine and a 15-20 minute nap in the mid-afternoon. I loved these during my med school days, and I often recommend this option to the teenagers I see in the office (in contrast to drinking lots of caffeine and taking long naps). For those interested, here’s a link to his other ideas for teens: https://drcraigcanapari.com/eight-teen-sleep-tips/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Napuccinos!!!

    • Adrienne says...

      aaah! We also call them nappuccinos! Also my go-to protocol for when I wake up with a headache.

  117. Ro says...

    I did not realize this was a thing, but it is one of my favorite lazy day activities. Drink coffee, read, get drowsy and then take a short nap. I even have a mug that says “I’m going back to bed after this”. Happy to know be validated by SCIENCE.

    • tyler says...

      yes! haha I was going to comment that this sounds like my saturday morning

  118. Jenny says...

    I’m on my medical school psychiatry rotation, can you tell? But hear me out: Early morning awakening can be a sign of depression. It’s one of a lot of signs, but might be a good moment to check in with yourself and your doctor about sadness, interest, guilt, energy, concentration, appetite, feeling either like you are moving too slow and sludgy or too fast and with an irritable edge, and if you have thoughts of suicide. I’m depressed AF but chugging along, will add coffee naps to my repertoire that includes coffee showers. Trust me, it’s magic. Just stick your head out to drink

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you thank you. Mental health is so important. I’m actually feeling really
      good right now, but I’ll keep an eye out for any signs in the future. Xo

    • Allie says...

      Minorly related – eating in the shower is one of life’s small-yet-supreme pleasures.

  119. Laura says...

    That’s what I do every morning! I didn’t know it was a thing. :) Love it.

  120. Irina says...

    I think that whether a coffee nap works depends on how your body metabolizes caffeine. I haven’t tried it, because I’ve become sensitive to the caffeine in coffee over the years, but it would probably work for me because it takes me a while to feel that “hit” from coffee. However, when I suggested the idea to my husband, he said it absolutely would not work for him because coffee goes to his brain instantaneously, like a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Zero chance of napping after that.

  121. b says...

    I have heard of these before, but given my current work schedule (6 a.m.-3 p.m., courtesy of residing on the west coast and working for an east coast company), I’m not sure I should be coffee napping at 3 p.m. since I wake up, on purpose, between 4 and 5 a.m.