As for many people, after I get up, I make myself some great coffee. I’m proud to say that Coffee is my daily drug; it gives me energy and brings me in a good mood. But here’s the catch; The moment you choose to drink coffee makes all the difference.
About four years ago, I was seriously hooked on coffee. I didn’t take coffee only in the morning, but all-day. I was consuming around 10–15 cups. You could say I was addicted. But to my defenses, This was at a time where I also smoked. In some sense, it amplified my hunger to consume coffee.
But, even after quitting smoking, I consumed 7–8 cups a day, which was an improvement, but still not high. It only got better after I started to pay more attention to my sleep. That’s when I gradually reduced my caffeine intake.
Till this day, I’m still a massive fan of coffee. Not a day goes by, where I haven’t drink it. But as with many things, If you take it too far or don’t pay attention to how it affects you, it becomes harmful.
It’s conventional to take coffee after dessert or dinner. It’s fun to have that dopamine rush you get from coffee. You’ll feel good and alife. And there’s nothing wrong with that if done right.
The reality is coffee messes with your sleep. If you take coffee every night before bed, you’ll set yourself up for trouble. In the long-term, your health will suffer. And that automatically includes you.
I’ll know because I did it myself. But maybe, like me, if you know the cold-hard science of caffeine, you’ll think twice before you take that sip right before bed.
The Power Of Coffee: Caffeine Half-Life
It’s common knowledge that caffeine makes you more awake. People know that coffee works psychoactive. That’s the reason we take it after waking up.
However, few are aware of how caffeine works. Or why caffeine is called a psychoactive drug?
We assume that after we’ve taken our coffee, the effects were off fairly quickly. The real deal, however, is that the caffeine doesn’t work that way. Caffeine has a natural affinity with your body. That’s why it’s so addictive.
The misconception that caffeine “gives you energy” isn’t entirely right. During our waking hours, our neurons produce a by-product neurotransmitter called adenosine.
What adenosine does is, it tells your body when it’s time to hit the sack. During the day, our nervous system monitors the levels of adenosine, and they get higher the longer your awake. When a certain point is reached, your body feels the pull to sleep.
Caffeine has the unique ability to fit into the adenosine receptor sites(these are regions for communication of chemical messages) — in other words, it will block the adenosine, and as a result, your body won’t shift into a rest mode.
And unlike adenosine, the caffeine does the opposite effect. Instead of calming your nerve cells, it will stimulate them by raising your heart rate and releasing hormones, as a result, make you more active.
The real problem is, getting the caffeine out. Because caffeine is similar in structure to adenosine, the duration of action is far longer than you think.
Caffeine has, what scientists call a half-life of around 5 to 8 hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours — In other words, if you’ve taken coffee at 2 PM, there’s still going to half of the caffeine active at 10 PM.
So let’s say you consume 200 milligrams of caffeine( or 2 cups), after 8 hours, you’ll have 100 milligrams left in your system, and after another 8 hours 50 milligrams and so on…
How Caffeine Affects The Body?
The caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. But caffeine doesn’t only affect your nervous system; also your endocrine system.
When caffeine reaches the brain, it will provoke your adrenal glands to produce two anti-sleep hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” plays a role in your night/wake rhythm. When Cortisol is released, melatonin(known as sleep hormone) is suppressed and the other way around. Cortisol is highest in the morning and gradually reduces during the day
So when it’s night, you should feel relaxed and sleepy.
When Cortisol is released during that time, It will trick your body into thinking it’s still day. And so make you’ll become more excited releasing dopamine.
The other hormone called Adrenaline is more related to the fight or flight response. If you’re experiencing emotional/mental stress, adrenaline is released, elevating your heart rate and making you ready for action.
Not the best state to get to sleep
Caffeine will block your deep sleep
Some may argue that caffeine wouldn’t affect them. They can fall asleep fast. And stay asleep during the night.
Though some people indeed metabolize caffeine faster than other’s, because of a gene called PDSS2, which process caffeine more slowly. That doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods.
Because not all caffeine is broken down immediately by the liver, some free caffeine particles are still in the blood after consumption — some of which who will make their way to the brain. And as you know, that will block adenosine from affecting.
What key here is the amount of caffeine intake.
The bad news is; giving someone 200 mg of caffeine in the evening will reduce their deep sleep by 20% — that’s equivalent like aging 20–30 years in one night. That’s because as we age our deep sleep drops. So deep sleep is profoundly connected to longevity.
If you want to know if you’re sensitive to caffeine, A 23andMe DNA test will show this
2 Power Tips For Smart Caffeine Intake
Now you know the effect coffee has on your sleep, the question is; How do you restrict yourself from coffee?
But first some good news:
Caffeine isn’t technically an addictive substance. Although it could cause physical dependence, if you were to go cold turkey, it wouldn’t give the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine or cocaine. Because it doesn’t activate the brain reward circuits like, for example, nicotine does. You may feel cranky but that’s about it.
With that in mind, let’s start our countdown:
Stop Consuming Caffeine after 2 Pm
Unless you’re one of those people who aren’t sensitive to caffeine, you more at ease. But still, I recommend stopping consuming coffee after 2 PM. It will mess with your sleep nonetheless.
If you’re really sensitive to it. You might want to avoid caffeine altogether.
It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s for the best. Again, you want to set yourself up for good night sleep. With that goal in mind, coffee/caffeine isn’t your friend.
Still, consume caffeine, but at the right moment
Now, you don’t have to go hard-core and stop consuming coffee altogether. There’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and negate the benefits of caffeine.
Caffeine is still proven to enhance metabolism, increase alertness and focus and even improve liver function.
Just keep in mind, when you consume it, how sensitive you are and what time it is.
If you’ll even want to maximize the effects of caffeine, you’ll have to down-regulate your body’s response to caffeine. That means going cold-turkey maybe for a few days.
Let’s say you go 2 days on and 3 days off. It will take about 3 days to get the caffeine out of your system. When you have it again, you’ll notice the same benefits as you did during the initial days you used it.
Before You Go…
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The coffee I drink daily know is FourSigmatic coffee; It’s great, just try it. If you want to get 10% off, You’ll have to use the code model
Also if you liked the content I wrote, You’re always free to add a comment or share the message. Thanks 😉
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