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Coffee-break beats a nap research

14-05-2010

The energy provided by a strong cup of coffee beats that of a quick daytime nap, according to new research revealed this week. The study, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, looked at the effects of caffeine on shift workers who typically didn’t get good quality sleep. The results found that those who drank coffee performed better on memory, attention, reasoning and perception tests compared to those who took naps to combat tiredness.

Despite the results of the study, researchers were quick to point out that the stimulation of a caffeine boost is a decidedly temporary solution, and could hint at wider sleep problems for those who are particularly reliant on their morning cup.

“It’s probably more correct to say that it’s (a cup of coffee) similarly effective to a nap,” said Dr Greg Roach, from the University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research, speaking to the Courier Mail. “If you are having to use caffeine as a fatigue counter-measure then it probably means that you’re working too much, or not getting enough sleep.”

Indeed, the same point has also been raised about daytime naps, in that their restorative effects are often negated by providing the body enough energy to stay awake later into the night, therefore repeating the cycle of feeling tired during the day.

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