If you are an avid coffee drinker and have trouble falling asleep at night, you should try to eliminate caffeine consumption in the late afternoon. It has been determined that having a cup of coffee up to 6 hours before heading to bed can significantly worsen the quality of your sleep. Try to stop drinking coffee after 3 or 4 pm so that you give your body more of an opportunity to wind down!
How Does Caffeine Affect Your Sleep?
Caffeine is a widely used stimulant that has marked variations in behavioural responses amongst individuals. The consumption of caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter, called adenosine, that causes a stimulant effect. Caffeine acts as an antagonist to adenosine receptors, because adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Hence, adenosine receptors are stimulated by caffeine so that you don’t feel sleepy. As a result, caffeine stimulates behaviour responses which may include increased alertness, higher energy levels and enhanced physical fitness. Although there are numerous benefits of caffeine consumption, there are several adverse effects when it comes to sleep quality.
One of the most common adverse effects of caffeine is the disruptive effect that it has on your sleep quality. A study found that caffeine can actually delay your body clock. This means that caffeine can modify your body’s natural circadian rhythms, and keep you awake for longer periods of time. This can have an effect on both your total sleep time, and the amount of deep sleep that you endure. Try to limit your caffeine intake to about 300 – 400mg per day so that the quality and quantity of your sleep is not compromised.