How Caffeine Affects Your Sleep

Dr Nicola Barclay, University of Oxford Sleep Scientist, and John Tuton, Mammoth Founder, discuss the importance of maintaining a good relationship with caffeine and how it affects your body and sleep. Watch the full interview here.

NB: We all have a very individual sensitivity to caffeine. Some people are very sensitive to its effects and it will be very stimulating, you know, even just with a cup of tea. Other people can have a double espresso before bed and not feel any effects and get to sleep soundly. So, we need to identify how caffeine affects us, that’s the first thing.

But the second thing is to understand a bit about how caffeine works, so caffeine has a half life of around about five hours so what that means is it takes around five hours for its potency, its stimulating effects, to drop by half. So, if we know that we are an individual that’s quite sensitive to caffeine, imagine if you were to have a double expresso at 5pm, for whatever reason it’s at 5pm, at 10pm effectively you still have a single expresso shot in your system that is still going to work, and are you likely to have a single expresso shot at 10pm just before you’re about to go to bed? Most people would say no, there are some cultures that do have very late evening coffee but maybe they are genetically less sensitive to it’s stimulating effects, so you’re doing all the right things by limiting your caffeine intakes to, you know, having your last cup of tea around 3pm and tea has a lot less caffeine in it than coffee. So understanding the caffeine values in drinks is really useful.

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