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How Coffee Affects Sleep: When to Cut Out Caffeine

December 20, 2023  ·  5 min read

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If you can’t survive the day without your morning cup of joe, you may want to stick around to learn more about how coffee affects sleep. Don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you to cut caffeine cold turkey, we’re simply here to let you know the facts surrounding caffeine consumption and when it can disturb your slumber. 

While the caffeine found in your favorite coffees and teas can give you that surge of energy you desperately crave after a bad night’s sleep, too much caffeine too close to bedtime can be the cause of a sleepless cycle. So before you grab that peppermint latte or breakfast blend tea at 4 p.m., consider grabbing decaf and thank us later.

Does coffee cause sleep problems?

There are many answers to the question, “Why do I wake up tired?” and one of them could relate to your coffee-drinking habits. Coffee alone may not be the sole reason you’re experiencing sleep problems (for example, a bad mattress or stress could be to blame) but it can definitely exacerbate bad sleep habits. So, what makes coffee a bad nighttime beverage?

Why is it bad to drink coffee before bed?

Caffeine is the primary stimulant found in coffee and tea that is meant to increase alertness in the body, which is why so many people enjoy these types of beverages in the morning. However, caffeine can linger in the body for hours after consumption depending on how quickly your physiology can metabolize it, causing restlessness and affecting how well you sleep. 

When night time comes, our bodies begin to produce hormones like melatonin that help us to wind down and eventually fall asleep. Throwing a stimulant into the mixture tells your brain that it needs to be alert, and now your nervous system is battling with itself. The result? It’s either hard for you to fall asleep or you can’t stay asleep, and at that point, sleep aids such as melatonin gummies can’t cancel the caffeine out. 

Keep reading: Pros and cons of melatonin

Does coffee keep you awake at night? 

It can! Even if you manage to fall asleep after consuming caffeine, you’re more likely to experience sleep disruptions throughout the night. Having an espresso with dinner could be one of the reasons for waking up in the middle of the night and not feeling refreshed and well-rested. Every individual reacts to caffeine differently meaning some people may be able to handle an afternoon coffee with no problem whereas others get the jitters. 

Unfortunately, no matter how much of a tolerance you’ve built up, caffeine can still hurt your sleep quality. In some cases, caffeine can even make people feel anxious or stressed.* It’s in your best interest to skip that extra cup if you feel like you need a fix. 

*Keep reading: How does stress affect sleep?

When to stop drinking coffee before bed 

Drinking coffee or consuming any caffeine close to bedtime can actually reduce your total sleep time by one hour. Although that doesn’t seem significant, that is precious time that your body uses to reset and restore certain functions. The point is, that you need every minute of restorative rest you can get to stay healthy. 

How many hours before bed should you stop drinking caffeine? 

You should stop drinking any sort of caffeinated beverages at least six hours before bedtime. If you tend to go to bed at 10 p.m., have your last dose before 4 p.m. This will ensure that you can maintain your consistent sleep schedule as your body will have had enough time to process and eliminate most of the caffeine in your system. 

However, if you know that you are more sensitive to caffeine, avoid it for eight hours before bed to ensure that the stimulating effects have worn off. This will minimize its interference with your sleep and you can still wake up feeling rested. 

Unfortunately, even if you have great sleep hygiene and avoid caffeine before bed, you won’t get the restorative sleep your body needs if you’re sleeping on a bad mattress.

Looking for a New Mattress?

Get the Sleep You Deserve with Texas Mattress Makers

We hope that you have a better understanding of how coffee affects sleep and that you can make better decisions for your sleep quality. But the best decision you can make to improve your sleep quality is to invest in a high-quality, handcrafted mattress from Texas Mattress Makers. Nothing makes you feel more awake than a good night’s sleep, not even the strongest cup of coffee can duplicate quality rest. 

Our mattresses are crafted with top-of-the-line components that are manufactured to provide your body with the proper amount of support and comfort in order to achieve optimal sleep. You won’t find a better mattress for a better price anywhere else in Houston.

Visit any of our mattress stores in Katy, Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Humble, or Baybrook, TX, or shop our selection of mattresses and mattress accessories online! Better sleep starts with Texas Mattress Makers.

More Helpful Articles by Texas Mattress Makers:

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