How does caffeine keep you awake?

How does caffeine keep you awake?

by Tina Sendin September 22, 2018

Caffeine. Sometimes, it’s a love-hate relationship. It keeps us awake when we need to (read: all-nighters), but it can also keep us more alert than we’re supposed to.

For something we consume regularly, caffeine tends to consume us back. We enjoy it so much to have one, two, three cups of our favorite caffeinated drink, only to realize the consequence when that 1 AM moment hits.

Caffeine can be a much-needed boost – that’s common knowledge – but we’ve never really paid much attention to how it works.  

That’s what this article’s for. We’re going to dive deep into caffeine and how it affects sleep.

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Here's how much caffeine you should have in a day

Here's how much caffeine you should have in a day

by Tina Sendin September 16, 2018

Coffee, tea or (caffeine) mints.

So, which of these have you popped or downed today?

These products all contain varying amounts of caffeine, alongside others you wouldn't have thought to contain it. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, breakfast cereals, pudding, pain medications … even cocoa butter lotion apparently all have it! [1]

Do you like most (or all) of these products? Then you must be wondering how much caffeine you take in daily.

We've got you covered. 

Keep reading to find out the safe amount to consume and what might happen if you get too caffeine-happy.

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When's the best time to drink coffee?

When's the best time to drink coffee?

by Tina Sendin August 23, 2018

Want to hear something shocking? 

Having your caffeine fix first thing in the morning will NOT perk you up.

But the good news is, you no longer need to make that sluggish early morning trip to the coffee-maker daily, nor join that long rush hour queue in your go-to café.  

If you’re wondering whether we’re pulling some sick April Fool’s joke in the middle of August, there’s actually scientific evidence to all of this.

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caffeine nap

For true power, take a caffeine nap

by Mark Miller September 15, 2017

The researchers at Longborough University found that no other common measures to combat drowsiness while driving, such as cold air, napping without caffeine, caffeine without napping or a break without a nap, worked as well as caffeine naps in helping combat drowsiness.

 

In the 1990s, the Loughborough researchers measured brain waves of subjects in driving simulators. The caffeine nap worked better than anything at eliminating mid-afternoon drowsiness and preventing driving errors than in all of the other controlled groups they studied.

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How to get through the afternoon slump with or without coffee

How to get through the afternoon slump with or without coffee

by Mark Miller January 19, 2017

The afternoon slump would be OK if you could just lie down for a little nap. But most of us have to earn a living, and management would likely frown on anyone who went home from 2 to 4 p.m. for a siesta.

If a nap is out of the question, how can a worker cope with an urge to sleep after lunch? First, let’s explore the reasons why some people become drowsy after lunch.

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How to cram an hour before an exam or test

How to cram an hour before an exam or test

by Mark Miller December 28, 2016

Preparing for exams and tests in high school and college may be essential to getting an A, entering the university of your dreams or making the grade to go on for a master’s degree. Assuming you’ve studied the subject or subjects thoroughly, what should you do just one before an exam?

If it’s a big mid-term or final, an Advanced Placement or a Graduate Record Exam or other graduate school test, most people have to study the subjects thoroughly during the semester or school year or years. Attempting to learn all the material one hour before the very end is not a good strategy for a final exam or for a placement test.

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Coffee or energy drink before exams? Here's why you should drink water instead

Coffee or energy drink before exams? Here's why you should drink water instead

by Mark Miller December 08, 2016

Coffee before exams? Say you have a big mid-term or final exam coming up. You should power down big doses of caffeine in coffee or an energy drink, right? Not according to what we’ve read online. There are few formal, scientific studies about what to drink before exams, but the anecdotal evidence seems to point to water as the best beverage beforehand.

It’s important to get enough water so you don’t become fatigued from dehydration. That said, you can get some water from drinking coffee or energy drinks. Those old stories about coffee being a diuretic are true, but only if you drink so much that you get excess amounts of caffeine. Coffee and other caffeine-containing products are healthy for you when taken in moderate amounts, as we have written several times on this blog before.

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What to do when you can't sleep before an exam

What to do when you can't sleep before an exam

by Mark Miller December 01, 2016

Sleep before exams or other important milestone can be elusive. With final exams coming up in December for college and high school students, we’ve collected some advice and wisdom from here and there on the Internet on what to do if you can’t sleep before an exam.

The ancient Romans had a god of sleep, Somnus, whose name gave us the word somnolence, which means sleepy. Somnus was a pleasant, smooth god in contrast to Death, who was thought to be vicious and grasping. “Somnus is the twin of Death, and is a pleasant youth, carrying a poppy and a horn from which he dispenses sleep.”

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Thanksgiving Turkey Day food coma — bring on the tryptophan

Thanksgiving Turkey Day food coma — bring on the tryptophan

by Mark Miller November 24, 2016

Three thousand five hundred calories in one meal. Maybe you’re so tired after all that turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pie because it’s a big job just lifting the fork to your mouth so many times and chewing all that food.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s those celebratory beers, cocktails or glasses of vino.

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Sleeping longer can make you feel more tired

Sleeping longer can make you feel more tired

by Mark Miller June 16, 2016

Sleeping longer should make you feel great, right? So why does it sometimes make you feel tired? The Sleep Doctor, as Michael J. Breus, is known, answers this question in an article on Huffington Post and on his own Twitter account.

The average person spends about one-third of his life sleeping. As much as people love sleep, maybe you don’t want to spend any more than one-third of your life in it so as not to miss all the excitement.

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Sleeping on trains is a bad idea and can be dangerous

Sleeping on trains is a bad idea and can be dangerous

by Mark Miller May 02, 2016

Many people fall asleep on their commute on the subway, but sleeping on trains isn’t restful and can be dangerous. In New York City, half the subway crime victims were asleep when they were victimized.

The Internet is full of warnings about falling asleep on the train and also advice about how to fall asleep (or stay awake) on a train or bus. It’s kind kind of conflicted.

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How to not get tired after eating

How to not get tired after eating

by Mark Miller April 25, 2016

If you’re getting sleepy at work in the afternoon or after your midday meal, it may be because you’re eating too many calories of carbohydrates, fats and sugars. So how do you avoid getting sleepy after meals?

Certain foods trigger the body to produce chemicals or hormones that induce drowsiness. To stay alert in the afternoon or whenever you have your meal during your shift, eat smaller amounts of food with less carbs, fat and sugars.

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