Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy?
Let's take a moment to talk about coffee and sleep. In a strange twist drinking coffee can make you sleepy, tired, or somewhat exhausted. We will go over how coffee is making you want to go night-night during the day and some possible solutions to improve sleep quality.
How Drinking Coffee leads to Daytime Sleepiness
Here at Strong Coffee Company, we're huge fans of getting the right amount of sleep. Strong Coffee Company CEO Adam Von Rothfelder likes to say, "Remember, you don't develop in the gym; you break down in the gym and develop with rest. So it's critical to get proper sleep…"
That said, let's look at how caffeine affects your body after several cups of coffee.
Adenosine Receptors and Caffeine Consumption
Adenosine Receptors serve as a sleep-promoting factor. They are a big part of the sleep-wake cycle and are crucial for a good night's sleep.
This chemical binds to receptors in the brain that pumps the brakes on wakefulness and gets that beautiful brain of yours ready for sleep.
The amount of caffeine intake can have an impact on this process. Caffeine is a stimulant and increases alertness; in essence, it gets you going.
That caffeine rush can hit people right away – within minutes. It's been found that within 45 minutes of ingesting caffeine, the human body has absorbed 99% of it.
After this, people can experience a caffeine crash. It might happen at different times depending on the person, but you really feel bogged down when it does.
You're often left feeling even more fatigued, have a headache, are jittery, or cranky.
How Long Does Caffeine Keep You Awake?
The effects of caffeine depend entirely on the person. 3 to 7 hours is the typical window of when caffeine runs through your system, but there are instances when it can be up to 24 hours before running its complete course.
This is where caffeine and sleep tend not to get along. Depending on the person, the amount of caffeine in the system can disrupt sleep quality and lead to insomnia, especially if you decide to consume caffeine hours before bed.
What happens when you have insomnia? You're typically pretty tired throughout the day, despite the amount of coffee consumption taking place.
A 2013 study found that people tended to fall asleep without much difficulty if they refrained from drinking coffee 6 hours before bed.
The amount of caffeine is another factor in how long it can keep you up or hinder getting proper rest. When you start going over 6 cups of coffee a day, chances are, you're getting crap sleep at night. This leads to poor performance during the waking day.
Another study in 2016 looked at middle school students in South Korea that were suffering from insomnia. The caffeine intake was remarkably high for these students.
Caffeine Jitters and Anxiety
Ever lay in bed, and your brain decides that's the time to start thinking about all the things that cause you to panic?
Turns out caffeine might be helping your brain reach those moments.
Let's be honest; these are incredibly stressful times with the pandemic going on. Covid-19 has changed a lot of lives overnight, and this can wreak havoc on our mental health.
If we have too much caffeine in our systems, this can often exacerbate the situation. Doses of caffeine above 400mg can rev up the stress, anxiety, and depression someone might feel.
Experiencing these things can lead to poor sleep, and as a result, can leave you tired throughout the day.
Please, be mindful if you suffer from panic disorders, as high doses of caffeine will likely be hindering progress.
Do I Have to Quit Coffee to Get Better Sleep?
We've outlined here on Strong Words that coffee can be quite beneficial. However, coffee alone doesn't solve all the problems.
Adam Von Rothfelder offers some suggestions on incorporating coffee with a balanced approach so you can start your day strong and finish strong.
Adopting what Adam calls RIF (reverse intermittent fasting) with a balanced diet will help get you there. Drinking Strong Coffee will also help reap the healthy benefits of coffee.
Adam recommends reversing the fasting/eating window. Instead of doing a 16:8 fasting/eating window, Adam suggests making it an 8:16 eating/fasting window.
Below is how the 8-hour window of eating looks upon first waking up.
- Upon waking, get your body some liquid sustenance. Don't be fooled – when you drink something with nutritious value, you are feeding your body!
- Coffee with collagen protein, or BCAA's, are all essential. Getting protein first thing in the morning is a beautiful way to start the day and ensure your brain gets what it needs to help you function properly.
- Lucky for you, Strong Coffee Morning Fix has everything you need. Hydration, collagen, MCT, and all the benefits of coffee without the jitters.
- If you can, try to get some type of exercise in. Movement is medicine for the body.
- You can also consume some healthy carbs like oatmeal. It's a terrific way to get fiber. Adam recommends consuming that around your workout- an hour before or after.
Afternoon into the early evening:
- This is the time to get a balanced meal in. Adam Von Rothfelder loves the look of a balanced meal!
- Have your greens. Veggies are super important! Have lean protein with your meals. Colorful plates are the best.
Any other coffee consumption should be done within this window. Try not to exceed 400mg per day; this is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
Reversing the fasting window and consuming a proper breakfast goes a long way to better sleep. Having coffee at the appropriate times can allow you to experience the positive benefits.
As humans, we have a sleep-wake cycle ingrained in our DNA. You should start working with it rather than against it.