All Things Sleep

Why is Drinking Coffee at Night Bad for Sleep?

Why is Drinking Coffee at Night Bad for Sleep?

The main constituent of coffee that keeps us awake at night is caffeine, found in many other substances. Caffeine is a psychoactive substance in coffee beans, cacao pods, kola nuts, and tea leaves. Caffeine is also produced synthetically because of its energizing and alert effects. 

Synthetic caffeine is used in a variety of medications and drinks. There are different types of caffeine available in the market, making it difficult to calculate the intake. However, the essential thing is to check the consumption of caffeine is in coffee or tea. 

Usually, coffee is the most preferred beverage in the US that includes caffeine. Thus, all coffee enthusiasts should know that a single eight-ounce cup contains 95-200 mg caffeine. When you compare it with a 12-ounce soda, the can contains only 35- 45 mg of caffeine. 

Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Every time we consume a beverage or food containing caffeine, it gets absorbed quickly by the stomach and small intestine. The highest time frame for caffeine affecting the body is between 30 and 60 minutes after consumption. 

Once the absorption completes, it is circulated throughout the body. It crosses the blood-brain barrier, and the body becomes more active than it was before. However, the effect time may vary on specific individuals. 

When caffeine reaches the brain, it blocks adenosine receptors. When we wake up, a sleep-promoting chemical is produced known as adenosine. Usually, adenosine keeps building up while we are awake, and we feel sleepier as time passes. Caffeine stops that production keeping the body up and running. 

The consumption of caffeine also affects circadian rhythm. It delays the start of sleep time if consumed before bedtime. Circadian rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle our bodies follow to balance work and rest time. 

The 24-hour clock of the circadian rhythm is maintained using the external day-night cycle. Adenosine production contributes to maintaining the circadian rhythm. Caffeine consumption at ghostly hours can interfere with the cycle. 

How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine impacts the sleep and wake-up cycle and affects efficiency, satisfaction levels, and feelings. It is especially harmful to older adults as they're more susceptible to sleep-wake troubles. Caffeine also reduces the time we rest in slow-wave sleep. 

It is the sleep stage that relaxes us the most, inducing deep and restful sleep. This stage of rest helps us to wake up with more alertness and refreshed thoughts. The interruption caused by caffeine can also lead to sleep deprivation. 

While you're sleep deprived the following day, you will experience fatigue, memory issues, learning problems, and emotion regulation, to name a few. 

Different researches on caffeine consumption before bedtime affecting sleep have found various hours. Experts categorize consumption in three types- zero, three, and six. For example, people who consumed caffeine six hours before bedtime have experienced the minimal effect of sleep deprivation. On the other hand, people who consumed caffeine three or fewer hours experienced extensive sleep deprivation. 

Can Too Much Caffeine Cause Insomnia?

Apart from the intake time of caffeine, the amount is also crucial. There may be short-term benefits of caffeine, but it's not a good habit to consider for the long term. If you use it more than usual and make it a habit, caffeine can cause insomnia symptoms. If you already have insomnia, caffeine can worsen the sleep situation. 

Most people use caffeine to stay up at night and through tedious works. However, this consumption habit can also lead to anxiety, poor sleep quality, sleeplessness, and restless leg syndrome. Also, the caffeine present in sodas is linked to Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB) syndrome. SDB is the starting stage of a severe problem known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). 

Researchers have found proof of the connection between soda caffeine and sleep apnea, but not with tea or coffee. The reason why there's such difference is still unknown. Also, it's not very easy to understand the effects of sleep-disrupted breathing and think excessive daytime tiredness is common. 

How Long Before Bed Should You Stop Drinking Caffeine?

Caffeine is present primarily in drinks and Americans' morning cup of Joe as late at night. However, as said above, it's not good to drink caffeine six hours before bedtime. The massive gap in time helps to fall asleep quickly. For example, if you want to sleep at 10 pm, stop consuming caffeine since 4 pm. 

However, maintaining a journal is a good habit, and it can help you track your sleep. If you're busy and can't remember such small details, consider noting them down. Write down the time you consumed caffeine and see how you slept that night. Write down how well you slept, and start cutting down caffeine from your life slowly. Soon you'll find it easier to sleep without caffeine consumption. 

Does Caffeine Affect Sleep Quality?

Yes, of course, caffeine affects your sleep quality. Do you feel anxiety, mixed emotions, insomnia, and headache for no reason during the day? If yes, then it's a sign of dependency and overuse of caffeine. Even at night, if you wake up suddenly from sleep, find it hard to fall asleep, or experience nighttime anxiety, it could be because of caffeine.

Many people also experience sleepiness even after consuming caffeine during the day. It could be because of extended use of caffeine and not underuse. Those who experience such events should immediately stop caffeine consumption and get a good night's sleep. 

How to Reduce Caffeine Consumption?

If you're going for caffeine consumption in the daytime, it means you're sleepy from poor sleep on the previous night. The solution to that is simple- get a better mattress that supports your body and provides comfort. If your mattress is bumpy and doesn't provide relief against sensitive areas like the neck, back, and hip, it's time to get a new one. 

If you're in or around Northern California, visit Mancini's Sleepworld. The mattress store has the most brands, and with their SleepMatch technology, you can find your ideal mattress options in minutes. 

You just need to input some data and wait for the technology to run it across thousands of parameters. Finally, it'll show you the best options for your body so you can sleep well at night and get away from unnecessary caffeine shots during the day. So, call to book an appointment at the nearest Mancini's Sleepworld store and take advantage of their offers and discounts.

November 08, 2021