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Sleep Expert Reveals Why You Shouldn’t Grab a Coffee as Soon as You Wake Up

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Most people will head to the coffee machine as soon as they wake up, but doing that isn’t going to give you the biggest energy boost, according to sleep experts.

Caffeine works by blocking sleep-promoting receptors in your brain called adenosine receptors, explaining why people who drink caffeine too late in the day may struggle to sleep at night.

Dr Deborah Lee, a sleep expert working with Get Laid Beds, discusses when the best time to drink coffee is, as well as why you shouldn’t drink coffee as soon as you wake up.

Why doesn’t coffee work as soon as you wake up?

When you wake up, your stress hormone cortisol level is at its peak, which is a hormone that enhances alertness and focus, as well as regulating your metabolism and immune system response.

Elevated levels of cortisol may impact your immune system, and if they’re already at their peak when waking up, drinking coffee as soon as your eyes open may do more harm than good and may even make you immune to caffeine over a long period of time.

So, when is the best time to drink coffee?

The cortisol hormone follows a rhythm specific to your own sleeping cycle. They peak within half an hour to 45 minutes of waking up and then slowly decline throughout the day, explaining why you may peak in the morning and get more tired at night.

Taking into account your own rhythm, the best time to get your caffeine fix would be at the earliest, 45 minutes after waking up, when your cortisol rhythm starts to dip.

The best time to drink coffee would typically be mid-to-late morning when your cortisol is a lot lower and you can start to feel that energy slump, but of course not too late in the afternoon as it could affect your sleep.

If you’re someone who wakes up at around 7am, for example, leaving your first coffee until around 10am to 12pm will be when your body and mind will appreciate it the most, and you’ll get the most benefits from the caffeine.

When should you stop drinking coffee for a better night’s sleep?

Typically, you should stop drinking coffee at least six hours before you go to sleep. However, this is different for different people, and only you know your own caffeine tolerance.

To avoid messing up your sleeping pattern, avoid any caffeine after 3pm including coffee, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and even non-caffeinated tea.

Try switching to herbal teas if you need a hot drink to stay warm, or decaf to trick yourself into thinking you’re getting your caffeine fix.

Your sleep schedule will thank you!

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