Caffeine Nap

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Sun King's Comment
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I ran across the research of caffeine naps few weeks ago on a friends facebook feed. I can see it being a great tool in the toolbox for the OTR trucker.

A caffeine nap consists of drinking coffee/tea right before a 15/20 minute nap. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in. When you wake up, the caffeine helps rid the body of sleep inducing compounds (adenosine) and you wake up alert and refreshed.

I would think the quicker you drink, the more effective the nap would be. I would probably pound 8 oz. of lukewarm black tea before I took the nap. I bet 4-8 chocolate covered esspresso beans would be effective as well.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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There is no substitute for sleep if you have to go this far just to stay awake I don't think you're safe driving and I think you should shut down.

David's Comment
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Caffeine has no effect on me. I abused it as a kid and can now drink 6 cups of coffee with out feeling anything. I now drink coffee for the taste.

Sun King's Comment
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At my current work, I take a small eleven minute nap during lunch, and it helps re energize me a little bit. When I take 20 minute naps, I wake up tired and want to nap again... and usually fall back asleep. I see this useful on a 30 minute mandatory break: You hit a rest area, go to the little boys room, drink some coffee, take a 20 minute nap and drive refreshed.

This isn't a substitute for sleep, it is using both sleep and caffeine effectively. Here is the link that leads to the research to show its effectiveness

Josh C.'s Comment
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Well, I guess you could always try it at home to see if it does anything for you.

ButtonUp's Comment
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When I was in training I would usually stop at least once during the night for a 15 minute nap. I tried everything else... coffee, jogging around the truck, you name it. For all the effort it took to pull off in a truck stop and get some coffee and what not, I would still be tired after I hit the road again. It didn't matter how much sleep I had beforehand... and I always drove nights. I always started to feel it come on about 3-4 in the morning. The 15 minute nap solved the problem every time. I might still feel "tired," but was not fighting the urge to nod off at the wheel anymore. I drink caffeine in some form pretty much constantly, anyway.

A 15 minute nap is a quick and effective fix for a very dangerous situation!

6 string rhythm's Comment
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There is no substitute for sleep if you have to go this far just to stay awake I don't think you're safe driving and I think you should shut down.

You responded in haste, or didn't understand the post. He never said it was a substitute for proper sleep, and the basis of this is actually getting rest, not using caffeine instead of rest. Cat naps are extremely useful, whether or not you consume coffee right after you wake up or before - which is the whole point of the post, i.e. that if you consume right before the nap it's like just drinking coffee right after you wake up.

The OP never said caffeine or even naps are a substitute for a full night's rest. I think it's an interesting concept. I'd just be afraid that if I was interrupted for some reason and didn't actually fall asleep before the caffeine kicked in, then I wouldn't actually be able to take that cat nap. I'd rather just drink coffee after the nap, if that's what I wanted to do.

Anthony R.'s Comment
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I find that caffeine leaves me more drowsy in the end due to the comedown that follows the pick up.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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I find that caffeine leaves me more drowsy in the end due to the comedown that follows the pick up.

Yep, it all depends how much you drink. When I drove nights doing linehaul , I knew how much I could drink before I would experience being over caffeinated and then experiencing the crash. When used in moderation, caffeine is very useful.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Sun King's Comment
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Caffeine Nap Experiment #1

Date and Time: 12/13/2014, 2:20 p.m. Mountain Standard

Caffiene: 8 oz. lukewarm English Breakfast Tea, no additives, 30 second chug.

Nap: 20 minutes. 8 minutes in as I was beginning to dose my daughter interrupts the nap. I told her I was in the middle of an experiment and no more interruptions until after the Nap. 13 minutes in, my daughter interrupts me again. At 20 minutes alarm goes off.

Notes: There wasn't much sleep per se, but I definitely rested. Mentally I was more alert, Physically my body was relaxed and still in wake up/sleep mode. It took about an hour before my body caught up with my brain. I see improvement in alertness and focus than just a plain nap. It is worth more testing.

- End Experiment

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