A study by American Sleep Association says that 40% of Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. The three major causes of sleep disorders in the US are too much caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
Since caffeine is a major culprit for hampering our sleeping cycle, we must focus on its consumption. If you drink coffee at night, it will surely destroy your night’s sleep. So, drinking coffee earlier is better for uninterrupted sleep at night.
Coffee enthusiasts, who are serious about quality sleep often ask – how late is too late for coffee?
Please read the article to know its answer in detail and the best time to drink coffee in a day. Keep reading to learn more.
How Late Is Too Late to Drink Coffee?
Before answering this question, you should know the caffeine lasting time in our systems. Caffeine takes around 30 to 50 minutes to reach its highest point in blood. Besides, its effect can last 4 to 6 hours, though caffeine will remain in your system after this duration.
So, most studies regarding this discourage drinking coffee after the evening. Caffeine intake after evening can cause sleeping disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome.
Many readers can ask – how long should someone wait between drinking coffee and bedtime? Based on the experts’ opinion, the gap between drinking coffee and your bedtime should be at least six hours.
For example, if your regular bedtime is 9 p.m., you should avoid any caffeinated drink after 3 p.m. Increasing the gap will let you sleep better.
But, what to do if you need a little caffeine boost after the evening? In that case, you may choose decaf coffee or other drinks with lower caffeine, such as tea.
Another way to limit caffeine intake is to make your coffee consumption half after the evening. You may drink a half cup of coffee instead of a full. Moreover, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration which is a reason behind sleep deprivation.
How Does Coffee Affect Sleep?
Most coffee drinkers experience difficulty falling asleep after late caffeine intake. The effect can be different depending on persons and their genes.
Caffeine increases the release of hormones that make us alert, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. In addition, it blocks adenosine receptors (AR), a family of G-protein coupled receptors in our brains.
As a result, we become more alert rather than feeling sleepy. People suffering from sleeping disorders should not drink coffee after the evening since it can worsen their condition.
However, some people can metabolize caffeine faster because of genetic variations. They even face no difficulty in sleeping after drinking cups of coffee late at night.
What Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?
The appeal of a cup of coffee will always magnetize coffee enthusiasts. They are ready to drink coffee now and then with no objection. However, according to science, you need to follow the best time to drink coffee for a healthy lifestyle.
Your coffee drinking schedule also should satisfy your needs. So, we can divide the schedule into three parts.
- The best A.M. time to drink coffee
- The best P.M. time to drink coffee
- The best coffee drinking time before a workout
According to a study by NCBI, the best time to drink coffee to start a day is mid-to-late morning. So, if you wake up at 7 a.m., your ideal time to drink coffee is 10 a.m.
Evening coffee drinkers should keep a gap of at least six hours between coffee and their bedtimes. Though there is no fixed schedule, drinking coffee before 4 p.m. is widely recommended.
Coffee can be an excellent energy booster. If you want to drink coffee for better workout performance, drink it for 30 to 60 minutes before going to the gym.
Can I Drink Coffee after 5 P.M.?
From the above discussion, you may have an idea whether you should drink coffee after 5 p.m. or not. The calculation is quite simple. You have to keep a gap of six hours at least between drinking coffee and your bedtime.
Your body will be caffeine free after this duration. So, the answer to this question is – it depends on when you usually go to bed. Drinking coffee after 5 p.m. is fine if you go to bed around 11 p.m. in general.
It is often said that drinking coffee after 3 p.m. is a bad idea. But, the schedule may not be suitable for all since everyone has a preferred bedtime.
Can You Flush Caffeine out of Your System?
Caffeine makes us energized and active. But, too much caffeine can create physical discomforts such as nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia.
People suffering from these issues would like to know – is there any way of flushing extra caffeine from our system? Yes, eliminating excessive caffeine from your body is possible and easy.
You can do it simply by drinking sufficient water and keeping your body hydrated. Drinking some herbal tea can accelerate the caffeine flushing out process.
However, you should avoid coffee after the evening for the best result. If you still cannot deny coffee after dinner, drink decaf instead of regular coffee.
Should You Limit Coffee?
If you see no result even after keeping six hours gap between coffee and bedtime, you can try limiting your coffee consumption.
It may not be easy since caffeine is very addictive. You can feel a craving for coffee while trying to limit it.
A good way to avoid the desire is by pouring your coffee into a small cup and drinking it slowly to satisfy your craving for coffee.
How to Enjoy Coffee Without Affecting Your Sleep:
Coffee can interrupt your sleeping cycle. But, you don’t need to give it up permanently. Drinking coffee is very healthy and a source of many essential nutrients. You can still enjoy coffee without hampering your sleep. Here are some tips to follow:
- Set a final time for drinking coffee and follow it strictly. For instance, never drink coffee after 4 p.m. if your bedtime is at 10 p.m.
- Track your daily coffee consumption. Since up to 400 mg of caffeine is recommended daily for a healthy adult, ensure you never exceed the limit.
- Stop drinking coffee now and then throughout the day for a good night’s sleep. If you feel tired, take a short nap instead of drinking coffee.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Besides, workouts regularly to stay fit and keep your physical functions active.
So, there is no straight answer to the question – how late is too late for coffee? For a good night’s sleep, drink a cup of coffee for at least six hours before bed.
You can choose your preferred bedtime and set your last coffee drinking time accordingly.
Drinking coffee after the evening or dinner can be bad if you already have a sleeping disorder like insomnia. Since coffee keeps you alert, try to drink the last cup of the day earlier.
Finally, too much caffeine is bad for your body in many aspects. If you have a tendency to drink coffee frequently, you should switch to decaf.