The effect of caffeine on the body can be, in some people be sudden and dramatic, in others, none existent.
Coffee keeps me awake but not my fellow bedmate. Whilst I’m still wide awake at 3am he’s happily in the land of nod.
According to a BBC article dated back 2015 Coffee has a secret trick to stop sleep. Scientists say in their study, (Science Translation Medicine) showed caffeine was more than just a stimulant and actually slowed down the body’s internal clock.
One of the researchers, Dr John O’Neill, from the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, studied cells grown in a dish that was exposed to caffeine to work out how it changed their ability to keep time.
It showed the drug (caffeine) was able to alter the chemical clocks ticking away in every cell of the human body.
Meanwhile, five people at the University of Colorado Boulder, in the US, were locked in a sleep laboratory for 50 days.
And as light exposure is the main way we normally control our body clock, they spent most of their incarceration in very dim light.
In a series of experiments over the month and a half, the scientists showed that an evening dose of caffeine slowed the body clock by 40 minutes.
It (caffeine) had roughly half the impact of three hours of bright light at bedtime.
Caffeine is the worlds most popular drug, found naturally in over 60 plants including the coffee bean, tea leaf, kola nut and cacao pod. Worldwide people consume Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee a day..that’s just coffee. Caffeine also turns up in tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs.
While it is important to note that caffeine cannot replace sleep, it can temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production.
Sleep deprivation can make you feel awful. Waking up tired, cranky and out of sorts not only affects you but also the people you come into contact with.
How to get more sleep:
Natural Sleep Foundation recommends practicing the following sleep tips:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as taking a bath or listening to music
- Create a sleep environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
- Exercise regularly but avoid it a few hours before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime
- Don’t smoke — not only is it a major health risk it can lead to poor sleep
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime; it can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night
~~~Don’t forget to turn off your mobile phone/laptop ~~~leave them downstairs~~~invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock~~ you managed before you had a smartphone so you can do it again (unless you are a millennial!)
You could also try swapping your last cup of coffee for a Decaf – it’s hard to find a decaf that tastes like a decent cup of coffee, I know because we’ve tried!