The Delayed Effects of Caffeine

The Delayed Effects of Caffeine

posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Ever found yourself heading to the coffee maker just to get through the night shift? That middle of the night energy boost could very well end up “helping” you through the day as well.

A new study conducted at the University of Montreal (and recently published in Sleep Medicine, the official journal of the World Association of Sleep Medicine and International Pediatric Sleep Association) indicates that caffeine can have very delayed effects, according to its lead author Julie Carrier. She and her team gave a group of people caffeine three hours before letting them sleep, and noticed that the participants slept up to 50% less. The effects varied predictably with age, as well — “The older you get, the more affected your sleep will be by coffee,” Carrier noted. And in both older and younger test groups, caffeine had a detrimental effect not only on sleep duration, but also on sleep efficiency, slow-wave sleep (SWS), and REM sleep.

And even those who think they can handle it might be affected without knowing it. As Carrier points out, “We all know someone who claims to sleep like a baby after drinking an espresso…. Although they may not notice it, their sleep will not be as deep and will likely be more perturbed.”

So the next time you reach for a Starbucks when your shift wanes into the wee hours, think again. You could reap the consequences long afterwards.

This post was written by admin on November 3, 2009

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