We all know the feeling. You slept for seven hours but still feel exhausted, so you buy a coffee on your way to work. By the time midday rolls around you feel like it’s already been a long day, and can’t believe you still have half of it left, so you make a second coffee…
Finally, you’re relaxing after dinner watching Netflix and suddenly your partner brings out the chocolate.
You’re not alone, we’ve all been there!
But how are these hits of caffeine impacting us getting a good night’s sleep?
Caffeine has proven time and time again to help us feel energized. It boosts performance even when we aren’t feeling our best physically, whether we’re sleep deprived due to overworking, jet lag or other reasons.
The good news is now you can enjoy your morning coffee guilt free.
However, skip the midnight chocolate and espressos if you’re not planning to pull an all-nighter as, “using caffeine at times that high mental alertness and physical activation hampers sleep quality should be avoided, in particular, in the hours shortly before going to sleep.” (p.109).
It turns out our ritual doses of caffeine that helps us perk up are actually keeping us stuck in a cycle. We wake up feeling tired, grab a coffee and go to work (where we possibly have more coffees and chocolate throughout the day), then repeat the routine feeling tired the next day.
Snel J. and Lorist, M. M. (2011). Chapter 6 Effects of caffeine on sleep and cognition in H.P.A. Van Dongen and G. A. Kerkhof (Ed.), Human Sleep and Cognition, Part II: Clinical and Applied Research. Great Britain: Elsevier. p. 105-117. Available at https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=W_WnBOrXT8wC&oi=fnd&pg=PA105&dq=effect+of+caffeine+sleep+academic&ots=i3m-C3IjZt&sig=xsUKnIx5de-1sLuDgz5xkC-bClE#v=onepage&q=effect%20of%20caffeine%20sleep%20academic&f=false accessed 27 February, 2017.