Coffee At Night Is A Bad Idea, Study Suggests

Posted: Sep 17 2015, 1:02am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 17 2015, 10:32pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Coffee at Night Is a Bad Idea, Study Suggests
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Caffeine in coffee disrupts the body's internal clock and delays sleep.

Coffee is a popular brewed drink and often consumed to keep oneself awake. Many people have a habit of drinking coffee at night. Just how does coffee affect your body if it’s consumed before bedtime, some new research explains.

Coffee contains a substance called caffeine, which is the most widely-consumed psychoactive drug. New research suggests that coffee at night disrupts your body’s internal clock and makes it harder for you to get sleep on time and eventually to wake up in the morning. Caffeine found in coffee is a real eye-opener. It delays the body’s internal clock by 40 minutes and pushes you to go to sleep later.

“If you’re tired and having a coffee at night to stay awake, then that is a bad idea, you’ll find it harder to go to sleep and get enough sleep.” John O’Neill, one of the authors of the study said.

For the study, five people were examined for almost 50 days. To push away sleep, they were given various treatments like double Espresso coffee, exposure to bright or dim light and placebo capsules.

Researchers found that consuming caffeine three hours before the bedtime delays the body clock by 40 minutes, equal to half the delay associated with the exposure to light. Caffeine disturbs the circadian rhythm and delays the production of melatonin; melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles.

“This is the first study to show that caffeine, the mostly widely used psychoactive drug in the world, has an influence on the human circadian clock,” said Professor Kenneth Wright from Colorado University. “It also provides new and exciting insights into the effects of caffeine on human physiology.”

The findings reinforce the common advice of avoiding caffeine in the evening and enjoy it in the early hours of day.

“Removing coffee from your diet or just having it in the morning might help you achieve earlier bedtimes and wake times.” Wright said.

The study was published in Science Translation Medicine.

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