For many people drinking a cup of coffee is a great way to get a boost in the afternoon or a pleasant way to finish their evening meal.
However, recent research has documented that drinking coffee even in the afternoon can have a detrimental effect on your sleep pattern.
The study, out of Detroit’s Wayne State University, examined the effects of caffeine when taken at different times of the day. Christopher Drake, lead author on the study is an associate professor at Wayne State and an investigator for the Henry Ford Center for sleep disorders and research.
He concludes that drinking coffee in the late afternoon can cause similar “negative effects on sleep” to drinking a caffeinated beverage near to bedtime.
Drake’s recommendation is that if you are looking for a night of good sleep, you should avoid any caffeine after five pm.
Caffeine and coffee have long since been associated with sleep problems. However, this new study has documented that consuming caffeine up to six hours before bedtime can reduce sleep by a minimum of one hour.
The study used twelve participants who were normal and healthy sleepers. The participants were asked to maintain their normal schedules for sleeping but they were supplied with three pills per day for a period of four days.
One pill contained 400mg caffeine while the other two were placebos. One day in the study, the caffeine pill was substituted for another placebo.
The participants were to take pills six hours before bed, three hours before bed and when they were going to bed. A sleep monitor was used to record the disturbance in sleep and participants were encouraged to keep a sleep diary.
The results documented that consuming caffeine three or six hours before bed could significantly disrupt the sleep. While many people are thought to be affected by caffeine in different ways, the study showed a clear pattern although people would be not as likely to “detect the disruptive effects” if the caffeine was consumed in the afternoon. So, it is worth considering your sleep, when you reach for that extra afternoon cup of coffee.