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Coffee Before Sleep – Is It A Good Idea?

Coffee is a popular drink around the world, consumed by millions of people on a daily basis. You have probably heard that drinking it frequently might be beneficial, but in some cases can bring disadvantages as well. For instance, a lot of people avoid drinking a cup of coffee before going to bed as it interrupts their sleeping schedule. However, are things really that dramatic? Is it reality or fantasy that having coffee before sleeping can cause some insomnia effects? Let’s find out the answer in this guide.

How is coffee beneficial?

Before going into more details, it is important to know why coffee can be good for your health. While some may disagree, there are hundreds of studies and researches that indicate the health benefits that coffee can bring. What are they exactly?

According to research, consuming a modest amount of coffee on a daily basis can help prevent some kinds of dementia types, such as Alzheimer’s. However, there are also some studies that suggest that consuming caffeine late at night might create sleep disturbances, which can have a severe impact on your health.

The connection between caffeine and sleep

If you are someone who has difficulties sleeping at night, you should know that having caffeine throughout the day is actually quite harmful. Sleep problems caused by it might be even more visible in older persons. Caffeine significantly shortens the time spent in deep sleep – this is the period where your body and mind relax the most, leaving you feeling alert and refreshed when you wake up in the morning. If your sleep is interrupted by caffeine, it can cause sleep deprivation the next day, resulting in exhaustion and difficulties with memory, emotions, and overall mood.

One research looked at the effects of caffeine consumption before sleep. The results were pretty interesting – coffee ingested six hours before bed might lower sleep duration by one hour, which is already a lot. Furthermore, research participants reported sleeping issues when they had coffee 3 hours before bed. In the end, if you already have some sleep problems, it is the best idea to try restricting caffeine intake 5-6 hours before going to bed.

Can coffee help you stay awake?

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, therefore, it can easily create a surge of energy. The majority of people think that drinking coffee will help them stay awake but actually, it can do more harm than good. Coffee is only effective in the short term, however, if you want to improve your sleeping schedule for the long term, then it is not going to be any help.

It is also important to know that the effect caffeine can cause also depends on the amount you take, and your mood as well. Caffeine’s stimulating effects might be beneficial to someone who is feeling foggy and weary. On the other hand, it may produce arousal in individuals who are excited by something, or feeling emotional, leading to anxiety and increased heart rate.

What about insomnia?

We have already mentioned above that consuming coffee before sleep might have short-term benefits. But, did you know that excessive usage can cause symptoms of insomnia? It is something that a lot of people around the world suffer from, and it can definitely have a huge effect on the quality of your life. Therefore, everyone needs to avoid having insomnia at all costs.

So, caffeine consumption to stay awake at night may result in insomnia, anxiety, and frequent overnight awakenings (horrible, right). Interestingly, caffeine that can be found in sodas, has been associated with SDB (which is sleep-disordered breathing). This relationship was identified only with caffeinated drinks, not with coffee or tea, for unknown reasons. Regardless, persons who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing may be unaware of their sleep disturbance and mistake excessive daytime tiredness for other causes. If you experience daytime tiredness, it may be beneficial to reconsider your caffeine usage, particularly from sodas.

What else can you do?

What happens if you are craving coffee late at night and can’t stop yourself from taking it? Well, the choice is all yours and no matter what anyone tells you, you are going to behave as you like. If that is the case, try to switch to decaf coffee – this might actually help you and your sleeping schedule.

Nowadays, decaf coffees are becoming extremely popular – happily, they taste delicious as well. If you are not familiar with this type of coffee, we would suggest checking out our “Top decaf coffee brands you can buy” guide, where you can discover the highest-quality products tested and approved by us.

So, should you drink coffee before bed or not?

The best idea for you would be to try out what works the best for your health. Like everything else, caffeine might also have different effects on different individuals – while you may be sensitive to it, your friends might not have any problems. Here are some basic rules that would be nice to follow:

  1. If you are more of a morning person, try to not take coffee 5-6 hours before bed;
  2. If you enjoy late-night evenings more,  you may want to experiment with decaf, or caffeine-free beverages to see how they influence your sleep schedule.
  3. Don’t take more than 400 mg of coffee in a day.

That’s pretty much it. We wish you all a very good night’s sleep!

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