Children call it sleepy time while Spaniards call it siesta, but both have the right idea, according to recent research that says that short naps are the best way to curb afternoon fatigue.
The study found that napping for 15 to 20 minutes prevented participants from nodding off in the afternoon more effectively than drinking two cups of regular-strength coffee or getting an extra 90 minutes of sleep in the morning. It's one of the first studies to compare napping with those alternatives. Study coauthor Clare Anderson of Loughborough University warns against napping too long; if you enter into deep sleep, you'll be groggy when you wake up. She also acknowledges that catching some afternoon z's might not be possible for many working Americans. If you can't, chug away: The study found coffee's ability to deter sleepiness was not too far behind 40 winks.