These days, hearing someone say that they are exhausted is unfortunately not that uncommon. It is in fact becoming more prevalent.
Even if you’re dragging and lagging at 5pm, you may want to avoid that late-afternoon cup of coffee. Consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime can lead to significant sleep disturbances, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
In this small sleep study, researchers gave 12 healthy people a supplement at three points throughout the day. The results from the study is quite interesting. Basically, they looked at the participants taking the supplements six hours before bed, three hours before bed, and right at bedtime.
One of the supplements participants received throughout the day contained 400mg of caffeine (which is by the way, about the same as is in a Venti 20-ounce coffee from Starbucks)—but they weren’t told which one contained the caffeine. Surprisingly, even the people who got a boost of caffeine six hours before bed showed disturbances on a sleep monitor. It actually showed they had cut a total of snooze time by more than an hour!
So really, coffee is not the answer when you’re in the need of that caffeine injection in the late afternoon or evenings. From the study, the participants didn’t report feeling like they’d gotten less sleep, even though they had. One of the reasons why you’re feeling tired is a simple answer. You’re not getting enough REM sleep and that causes you to be tired. And adding caffeine into the mix will actually cause more disruption to your sleeping pattern that help you.
Yes, granted, the study didn’t look at the effects of smaller amounts of caffeine, so you may be able to have a small cup—or even a half decaf cup—without screwing up your night. And if you’re really fading in the late afternoon, try these methods to help you stay energised at work.