How Does Caffeine Affect Your Sleep?
September 10 2018
Many of us take in caffeine on a daily basis, whether it be in the form of drinking coffee to power you through your morning or from simply eating a chocolate bar. No matter how you may use it as fuel, the fact remains that caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world. With it being said that over 90 percent of people use caffeine to some extent on a daily basis, we’re left to wonder how it really affects our physical and mental states.
What It Is And How It Works
One of the biggest reasons that people use caffeine so often is due to the fact that it’s a chemical stimulant. By taking in caffeine, you’re essentially fueling your body to prepare for the rest of your day as the chemical stimulates the central nervous system. It’s incredibly common to hear about how people need their daily morning coffee fix because of the fact that the caffeine quickly allows them to become more alert and ready to take on the day.
More specifically, caffeine is a chemical that works to block the effects of the neurochemical adenosine. Simply put, adenosine promotes sleepiness when it builds up in your body, and so you’ll feel more sluggish and worn out as the day drags on. By taking in caffeine, you’re effectively blocking the effects of the substance and keeping yourself awake and alert.
However, caffeine consumption needs to be monitored as too much of the chemical can have negative effects on your overall health and it can largely impact your quality of sleep.
How Caffeine Affects Your Sleep
Many studies have been conducted into the positive and negative effects that the chemical can have on your body when you use it over a long period of time. Whilst there are definitely a few positive aspects to using the substance – such as the boost of alertness that you receive after consuming it – it has been seen that caffeine can largely negatively impact your sleep.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it’s meant to keep you awake and suppress the neurochemicals that make you feel tired and sleepy. Therefore, one of the biggest ways that caffeine can affect you is simply down to the fact that it makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
Even if you consume it hours beforehand, studies have revealed that you can still reduce your total sleep time by taking in caffeine up to 6 hours before you go to bed. This means that, not only is it important to pay attention to how much caffeine you’re actually consuming, you should also pay mind to when you’re consuming it as the effects can be long-lasting.
Certain studies conducted into the effects that caffeine has on the overall body have also found that the chemical can work to delay the timing of your internal body clock. If you’re taking in too much of the substance, your body clock is going to become more irregular – meaning that you’ll find yourself up later during the night and wanting to sleep more during the day. This decreases the amount of sleep that you’ll be getting and also decreases your general quality of sleep, which will leave you feeling groggy in the morning.