How Does Caffeine Really Effect Sleep?

Many people have, at one time or another, had an extra dose of caffeine to help give them a needed energy boost. Studies clearly show that caffeine does enhance alertness and performance. Whether in the form of coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, or an energy drink- caffeine is an easy to find source of added energy. Each person responds differently to the stimulant effect of caffeine based on multiple factors, including: their ability to metabolize caffeine, the amount of caffeine they consume on a regular basis, and the time of intake. Most people have also heard the advice to limit caffeine consumption close to bedtime. There have been fewer studies, though, on how late in the day you can enjoy your cup of coffee without having negative effects on your sleep that night. A recent study aims to help uncover when is the right time to cut off caffeine intake. It found that consuming caffeine even 6 hours before turning in greatly decreased sleep quality and quantity.

In each case, the amount of time it took to fall asleep was increased, and the amount of sleep was reduced by more than an hour. In addition, there were more frequent wakings and it took nearly twice as long to fall back asleep afterward for those subjects that had consumed caffeine. The amount of time in deep sleep was also reduced for all subjects had caffeine.

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