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Know How: Does Caffeine Cause Sleep Problems?

Author: Gud Sleepz Team
Date:

Know How: Does Caffeine Cause Sleep Problems?

Know How: Does Caffeine Cause Sleep Problems?

“Don’t let your mind bully your body” - June Tomaso Wood


This article might come as a disappointment to all coffee lovers at face value but stay right here because we are not going to disappoint you. You can enjoy your coffee without having to worry about your sleep or sleep related issues. The research on caffeine and sleep have been time and again negative implicating the ill-effects of caffeine on your sleep health. But do you think caffeine is the problem or the way you consume the caffeine is the problem? To be honest, both are two different things. Let me tell you why? 


Caffeine is considered to be one of the stimulant to increase focus, productivity and the apparent effects on wakefulness. This serves as an instant boost to a boring day or a sleepy afternoon to be able to get through the work at hand. But like any kind of stimulant, the effects on brain is undeniable. Therefore, finding a right pace of coffee consumption is very important to lead a healthy sleep routine. We are scientific people and we like to know why this happens right? Okay, let’s talk science.


Caffeine is an adenosine receptor antagonist which means that it would block adenosine. Adenosine is the substance that would promote sleepiness. Due to the adenosine receptor blockage, caffeine tends to promote alertness. This effect would last for about 5 to 6 hours but the impact of it would last longer. So even if you drink your coffee around 4 pm, the effect is going to last till late night. Another interesting fact about caffeine is, it also leads to dependency like any other drugs. The problem with any stimulant is, your body would increase the tolerance to it over time and the amount of caffeine your body needs would increase with increasing time. 


This isn’t just for your coffee but it also is applicable for products that has caffeine content in it such as ‘energy drinks’. So, what does the research recommend in terms of caffeine from affecting your sleep? It’s the time at which you consume caffeine should be assessed and balanced. A systematic review found that, if you consume caffeine an average of 8.8 hours prior to bedtime, it would mitigate the effects of caffeine. And if you use it as pre-workout routine, 13.2 hours prior is recommended. As it tends to affect your total sleep time. 


Considering the available research and the possible consequences of consuming caffeine, we conclude by saying that, always consume coffee 9 to 13 hours before bedtime. Since the impact and half life of caffeine is much higher. This can negatively affect your sleep as it may increase the time you spend on bed trying to sleep, decrease the overall deep sleep stages and increase the overall duration of light sleep stages. 


Take Home Points: 


  1. We all need to be alert and focused on our day to day life, so coffee wouldn’t hurt if consumed moderately. 

  2. The time of consumption is the key to mitigate the effects on sleep. 

  3. Average consumption should be 9 to 11 hours prior bedtime. 

  4. Use caffeine only when its necessary and try to gradually reduce the amount if possible. 


Hope this article was useful and information. For more content, follow us on instagram and youtube. 


Please Book a Session with sleep coach to know more about your sleep.


 

Have a good sleep! Take care!


 

References: 

  1. Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195-1200.

Gardiner C, Weakley J, Burke LM, Roach GD, Sargent C, Maniar N, Townshend A, Halson SL. The effect of caffeine on subsequent sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2023 Jun;69:101764. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2023.101764. Epub 2023 Feb 6. PMID: 36870101. 


Tags: Caffeine , coffee , sleep

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