You probably drank a coffee this morning. I apologize if I’m wrong, but statistically, the odds were in my favor. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. It’s not limited to a special country but consumed in probably every country in the world.

Coffee is also our main source of caffeine and caffeine is one of the most consumed (legal drugs) worldwide.

Knowledge base: Caffeine is a (legal) drug that stimulates the nervous system. It was different effects on different people, but mostly it makes them alert. Our main source of caffeine is coffee. Other beverages containing caffeine include tea (black & green) and soft- or energy drinks that are enhanced with caffeine, i.e. Coke or Red Bull. 

Recent research found out that our genes are important for the effect caffeine has on as and as well as the duration it stays in our system. This is especially important since caffeine consumption can mess with your sleep.

A study conducted in 2013 found out that caffeine has effects on your sleep, even if consumed 3 or respectively 6 hours before going to bed. If you have trouble getting to sleep it might be because you had an espresso after dinner or a cup of late in the afternoon.

There is no problem in drinking coffee since it has health benefits as well. At least for some people, depending on your genes, as you’ve probably already read. The problem is: if coffee messes with your sleep, those health benefits will probably be negated by your worsened sleep.

If you want to make sure you can test your “coffee genes” on how long you need to process the caffeine.

If you don’t want to do gene testing you can simply test it yourself. Have coffee 3 & 6 & 9 hours before bed and see how you sleep. Don’t change anything else with your bedtime routine, to limit the effects on your sleep to coffee.

As I’ve already mentioned in the beginning, it is good to exchange your coffee for tea sometimes, since you can get addicted to coffee. Consuming coffee on a daily basis, will over time decrease the effect the caffeine has on your body, so you need more of it to achieve the same effect. 

Interrupting this cycle by avoiding coffee or caffeine at all for a few weeks will basically reset your caffeine need. I really recommend this technique, because getting addicted to caffeine is not funny, as people tend to get i.e. severe headaches as they want to withdraw from caffeine.

If you want to avoid caffeine, avoid green and black tea as well, because they have caffeine too. The amount of caffeine in green and black tea is much lower than in coffee, but if you want to stay caffeine free, go for herbal tea instead.

Coffee is a great beverage, but don’t let it mess with your sleep. A good rule of thumb is to stop drinking coffee at 2 pm. This way you usually can make sure that the caffeine will have no negative impact on your sleep.

Steps to take: 

  • Check your caffeine intake for the day.
  • Stop drinking it 3, 6 & 9 hours before going to bed (on different days).
  • See how it affects your sleep.

Sources:

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