Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy?

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Does coffee make you sleepy? It sounds strange. People around the world drink coffee to boost their energy levels. But, you are experiencing the opposite.

Is something bad going to happen to you? Calm down. Research says many people feel sleepy after drinking coffee. It happens due to the unusual reaction of caffeine in your body.

There is nothing to be afraid of. In this post, we will explore why you feel sleepy after drinking coffee. So, read the rest of this article attentively to learn more.

Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy Instead of Awake?

Why does coffee make me sleepy instead of awake

Coffee is a popular drink to keep you awake. It activates our brain cells and makes us more focused. But, it seems weird that the opposite occurs sometimes.

Coffee can make you sleepy for a few reasons. It depends on how your body reacts to caffeine. The most common reason that makes you sleepy after drinking coffee is the blockage of Adenosine receptors.

There are many other reasons, including dehydration, sugar crash, and caffeine tolerance. We will learn about them gradually.

Is it bad if coffee makes you sleepy?

It can be an alarming signal if coffee makes you sleepy. This situation may not be harmful to your body. But, it is a clear sign of abnormal caffeine reaction in your body. If it continues, you need to check your coffee consumption.

In most cases, it happens due to over-caffeine intake. So, you can limit caffeine as a primary treatment.

Can caffeine not affect you?

Our body is an example of a very powerful adaptor. It can adjust almost anything. Sometimes, our body becomes caffeine tolerant.

We can compare it with running. When you run for the first time, you will be worn out since your body is not used to it. But, if you continue, your body will adjust to the impact.

Similarly, our body may not react to caffeine as usual if we drink it for a long time.

Sleepy after Coffee? Here Are the Reasons

Don’t you understand why coffee makes you sleepy? Check some of the common reasons below:

Coffee causes dehydration

Coffee is noted as a diuretic. So, this drink can cause frequent urination. As a result, you may experience dehydration due to a lack of sufficient liquid in the body.

Dehydration negatively affects blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level and leads to fatigue. That’s why you can feel tired and sleepy.

Unfortunately, many people drink coffee constantly to overcome fatigue. However, coffee accelerates the dehydration cycle and enhances your tiredness more than before.

Drinking coffee should keep drowsiness away. But, too much consumption can result in the opposite. So, coffee drinkers should focus on drinking sufficient water instead of drinking coffee again.

The sweetener in coffee leads to a sugar crash

Sugar is a common sweetener for coffee. It is a good source of instant energy. So, many people like to drink coffee right before a workout. However, a high amount of sugar in a drink is harmful to your health. Even it causes sugar crashes.

After consuming too much sugar at a time, your body starts to generate insulin to balance it. This change in your body results in a sudden drop in blood glucose.

Some people immediately feel drowsy right after drinking coffee due to low blood glucose level.

This is how a sugar crash occurs that can make you sleepy. The best way to avoid a sugar crash is to limit its consumption. Since refined sugar is unhealthy, you can try natural sweeteners in coffee like honey.

Caffeine blocks Adenosine

Adenosine is an essential chemical in our body that stays in the central nervous system. It is connected to the body’s internal clock and sleep schedule. The level of Adenosine rises during the day. So, we remain awake.

Similarly, the level of Adenosine decreases at night and helps us to sleep. Adenosine makes our brain functions slower by affecting particular receptors. That’s why we feel relaxed.

But, caffeine can interrupt this natural process. Drinking coffee blocks these receptors. As a result, they fail to bind with adenosine. Though the receptors remain inactive, our body keeps producing adenosine.

When the effect of caffeine is gone, adenosine starts its work again and makes your brain relax quickly. So, you may feel sleepy within a few minutes of drinking coffee.

You are tolerant of caffeine

Sometimes, caffeine may not affect your body. If you are used to taking high caffeine for a long time, you can gradually grow caffeine tolerance. However, the tolerance level may depend on your age, physical fitness, and lifestyle.

Coffee can create caffeine addiction. Drinking several cups of strong coffee every day slowly reduces the effect of caffeine on your body. As a result, you will need more coffee to keep your brain alert.

So, drinking coffee lower than your caffeine tolerance level can still make you sleepy. Moreover, cream and milk in coffee contain an amino acid called tryptophan. This acid is linked to making the human body relaxed and tired.

Caffeine influences stress

Caffeine influences stress

Stress has a negative effect on the human body. There are many physical symptoms of stress. Dizziness and fatigue are common among them.

Now let’s talk about how coffee is relevant to stress. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a healthy adult can consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.

If your caffeine consumption exceeds this amount, you may feel stressed and anxious rather than refreshed. So, the tiredness caused by stress will make you feel sleepy.

Final word

Finally, we know the reasons behind feeling drowsy after drinking coffee. If you experience them temporarily, there is nothing to worry about. However, you need to try to overcome these issues.

Coffee drinkers should consume caffeine within the suggested amount. So, try to drink no more than 4 cups in a day. You also need to avoid consuming excessive refined sugar in coffee.

Since dehydration is a common issue, coffee drinkers have to drink water frequently to recover from the lack of liquid in their bodies.


I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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