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Coffee Before Bed: Is It Such A Terrible Idea?

Is Coffee Healthy Overall?

There are many documented health benefits of coffee.

Studies have indicated that drinking a moderate amount of coffee regularly has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, digestion, and may even help prevent certain forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s Disease (1).

But other studies suggest that drinking caffeine late in the day can actually cause sleep disorders, which negatively influence your health.

The Link Between Caffeine And Insomnia: Does Coffee Make You Sleepy?

As it turns out, ingesting caffeine during the day is actually pretty bad if you can’t sleep at night. Your body is made up of cells, each with their own circadian rhythm. The gears are humming along, and as the sun goes down they start to shift to prepare the body for rest.

Unbeknownst to your cells, you have a date at the local coffee shop at 7pm. You order a large Americano because you’re bold and daring but want to enjoy your drink for longer than a couple straight shots of espresso.

But now it’s 11pm and you’re back from your date and ready for sleep. Your cells are wide awake, so once you get to sleep it will not be the deep, restorative kind that leaves you rested and prepared for the next day.

Thus begins the cycle of drinking caffeine all day to stay awake because you drank caffeine too late the day before.

Does coffee make you sleepy? Not really, it just disrupts your body’s natural sleep pattern.

What Does The Research Say?

Scientists love to study coffee. Who can blame them? Coffee is liquid gold, and the best research topic ever.

Never fear! None of the research suggests giving up caffeine entirely, although one research found that coffee consumption 0, 3, and even 6 hours before bedtime can diminish the quality of sleep:

Hope For The Night Owls

Researchers are also paying attention to differences in individual sleep patterns.

In a ground-breaking study (4) conducted with college students from Stanford University, researchers have helped validate the night owls.

The findings suggest caffeine ingested later in the evening had more negative effects for people who wake up early than for those who naturally tend to stay up late and sleep in anyway.

More research will be done to dig further into the exact reasons: what makes someone a “morning person” or a “night owl”?