The warm comfort of coffee can be alluring as you snuggle down on an evening, but its hindering effects on sleep are well documented. A drink too close to bedtime can leave you lying restless, unable to drop off into peaceful slumber. But how exactly does caffeine affect the human body and more importantly, how can someone use this information to inform their coffee schedule?
Caffeine, of course, can be found in a wide variety of foods and drinks, not just coffee, and is the most widely consumed stimulant in the world. While everyone responds differently and in different degrees, the general effect of consuming the drink is an increased sense of energy and alertness.
Such effects are clearly at odds with the process of falling asleep. Based on expert insight from Dr Sarah Brewer, a medical nutritionist and author, we’ve created a tool to help you calculate the perfect time for you to have your last coffee before bed. Simply input your normal bed time and, based on the average person and the average drink, it will tell you the latest you should have your final coffee of the day!
While some people are genetically better equipped to deal with an evening caffeine shot, it is generally advised to avoid the stimulant in the hours before bed. Factors like the strength of coffee, an individual’s metabolic rate and lifestyle can all affect how long the effects last but based on averages, Dr Brewer believes that its best to avoid the drink in the four hours before sleep.
“If average metabolism is four hours to metabolise half the caffeine ingested, then it’s usually advisable not to have any caffeine after around 6pm. Individual responses do vary, however. Most people know from experience what their caffeine tolerance is in the evenings.”
Whether you do or don’t know how coffee affects your body, our tool will help you enjoy its benefits and taste throughout the day, without it negatively impacting on your sleep! Give it a go - you’ll be pleased you did!