Humans are about the only species that is monophasic. If you’ve never heard the term, you’re not alone. It simply means that most of us get our sleep in a single session, usually, overnight. Almost all other species are polyphasic meaning that they enjoy multiple sleep sessions every day.
But humans haven’t always been monophasic. In fact, it’s an unnatural state created predominantly by our 9 to 5 work culture. When your body is telling you to take a nap, usually about 2:00pm, it’s got less to do with what you ate than it has with evolutionary effect. Our nearest relatives, chimps and bonobos are polyphasic. We share 99% of our genes and that 1% differential isn’t the ‘monophasic gene’ :)
Taking a short power nap after lunch is an investment in productivity. It literally recharges your brain. And if you’re aiming for maximum personal efficiency, drink a full strength coffee and then take that nap.
Does that sound like a contradiction? Of course we all know that caffeine stimulates our brain so why would it be good to take a coffee or tea before taking a nap? Like most things in life, it’s all in the timing!
When you ingest caffeine, usually in the form of coffee or tea, it takes around 20 minutes or so for the caffeine hit to reach your brain. Coincidentally, the perfect power nap is between 10 and 20 minutes! So by combining the two – obviously with appropriate timing, you are multiplying the benefits of each.
Here’s a quick video that tells the story more eloquently than we can. And if you want to know how you can power nap in just 15 minutes, you need to read our 14 Reasons to Start Power Napping article…
BTW, if you’re a tea drinker, you’ll need to make it a strong black tea to get anything near the caffeine levels a mid-sized coffee offers: