If you’re one of those people who falls asleep at night dreaming of their morning coffee, you’re not alone. Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world, with over 400 billion cups consumed around the world -- ranging from tiny Italian espresso to American-sized “Ventis” at Starbucks.
While there are plenty of health benefits to a cup of joe, there are also controversies about the effects of caffeine (especially too much caffeine) on your ability to get a good night’s rest. Since it’s National Coffee Day, we thought it would be a great time to explore the connection between coffee and sleep. Let’s dive in!
First, what is caffeine?
Caffeine is, first and foremost, a stimulant. Found in tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and organic coffee, caffeine energizes your central nervous system and can have a stimulating effect on your body as quickly as 15 minutes after drinking it.
For some people, having one cup of coffee a day can affect their ability to fall asleep 16 hours later. For others, caffeine is helpful, giving them the boost they need to get through that three o’clock slump.
It’s important to take note of the way caffeine affects you personally, as -- for better or worse -- it will stay in your system for around six hours. (Nobody wants to be the Chatty Kathy who’s bouncing off the walls at work!)
The connection between caffeine and sleep
Since everyone’s bodies metabolize caffeine at different rates, your beloved Pumpkin Spiced Latte might actually be the culprit for how much you toss and turn at night. (Drinking organic coffee can be bad news for your sleep cycle, too!)
Even if you have the comfiest organic bedding and mattress known to man, drinking coffee too often or too late in the day can lead to any number of slumber issues, such as:
- Prolonged sleep latency
- Shorter total sleep time
- Worsening of perceived sleep quality
- Increase in light sleep and shortening of deep sleep time
- More frequent awakenings
If you experience any of these issues, you might think about reevaluating your coffee intake. Taking into consideration factors such as age, genetics, and time of consumption is a great place to start.
For example, while you may have been able to drink four cups a day in college as you pulled regular all-nighters, your new schedule as a young professional may call for a lesser amount, like one or two cups in the morning.
On National Coffee Day (and every day), it’s worth thinking about the connection between coffee and sleep. After all, once you’ve invested in the perfect organic mattress, why would you want to let anything affect the quality of your dreams?