This might sound like a typical start of the day:
You wake up incomprehensibly more tired than you should be. You slam multiple coffee and energy drinks like sleepiness is a poison, and that is the only antidote. You use any flimsy excuse to justify taking a “break to wake up” – hop in the shower, eat a snack, stand on your head, watch a movie that you’ve seen 16 times already. Can you relate?
There are several troublesome aspects of this routine. For one, the old jingle says the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup. We say it’s other, better coffee.
Also, there may be a key ingredient missing in your routine. Research has shown that one of the most bizarre combinations you could imagine is actually one of the most effective for staying alert. It turns out that ingesting caffeine and then immediately taking a 15-minute nap is better than just guzzling enough caffeine to plow through your work like a sweaty Walking Dead extra.
It takes caffeine 45 minutes to be ingested. That seems dangerous, because your body seems to think that if you’re sleeping for 45 minutes, you may as well sleep for five hours. But the caffeine stunts your body’s production of adenosine — a chemical which builds in your blood as you stay awake, and will eventually put you to sleep. So if you chug coffee and then start counting sheep right after, you slip right around the consequences and cheat your body into letting you feel alert for once in your accursed life.
Just don’t tell anyone else about this. You are a barely-functioning human being because of this never-ending squirrel race, and you need every advantage over the others that you can get.