Supercharged Naps: Caffeine, Cold & Light – Dr. Walker

The Supercharged Nap: Combining Caffeine, Cold, and Light

Dr. Walker discusses various types of naps that can be beneficial for sleep-wake cycles and alertness. In a study conducted by a Japanese research group, five different experimental groups were tested: no nap, nap, nap plus caffeine, nap plus cold face and hand washing, and nap plus bright light.

The nap group showed benefits in alertness, cognitive performance, and reduced sleepiness compared to the no nap group. The nap plus caffeine group had an added benefit, although not as significant as the nap itself. The nap plus cold hand and face washing, as well as the nap plus bright light groups, also provided additional benefits.

Walker suggests that combining all these elements – nap, caffeine, cold hand and face washing, and immediate daylight exposure – could create a supercharged state. He also points out that these tools can be applied to the period after waking from a nightly bout of sleep, with the exception of caffeine intake prior to waking up.

Huberman and Walker agree that circadian rhythm, clearance of adenosine, temperature modulation, and their interactions are the key factors in modulating wakefulness. They also discuss the importance of using warm water on the face and hands before bed to promote sleep onset, while using cold water in the morning to help wake up.

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