Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy – Unveiling the Facts

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. We consume it to feel energized and fresh; and it works perfectly for most of us. However, have you ever wondered why coffee makes you sleepy? If you have felt that lately, you are not alone.

Many people feel this way, however, it is not without a reason. There are various reasons due to which dizziness occurs after coffee consumption.

In this read, we will tell you why that happens.

Caffeine as a Modern-day Energy Booster

Caffeine is known as a stimulant and is consumed as an energy booster. According to a survey, 62% of US citizens consume coffee every day. But, everybody reacts to caffeine differently.

America tops the list for coffee consumption. Germany stands second while Japan and France stand third and fourth in the list.

People not only drink coffee to kick start their day or to refresh their energy levels – they drink coffee as a pre-workout drink too. Coffee’s health benefits and work out benefits are well known.

Having a cup of black coffee stimulates your brain, burns body fat, prevents cavities and fights depression. Moreover, it is the perfect beverage for hangouts with friends in a café, having official meetings, meeting your date for the first time- it is a drink to rejoice!

Feeling under the weather? Or do you want to laze around in your PJs on a cold winter evening? Well, a hot cup of joe would do the trick for you.

Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired?

Some people feel sleepy after having coffee. They feel tired and inactive. Everybody reacts differently to caffeine. For some, it works as a mood lifter and energy booster while for some it makes them sleepy and sluggish.

But coffee is not to be blamed for this, it’s your body that is responsible for the reaction. There are scientific reasons for it. Keep reading to learn why coffee makes you sleepy or tired.

Coffee Blocks Adenosine

Coffee breaks down adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter present in the central nervous system. Adenosine is responsible for regulating your sleep cycle. Coffee is a powerful stimulant and it stops your brain from picking up adenosine.

Your body is still producing adenosine when you drink coffee, but when the caffeine subsides the adenosine builds up and you feel sleepy or tired. Adenosine levels fall off when you are sleeping.

Coffee Dehydrates the Body

Caffeine is known to be a form of diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that increases urine production. Increased urine production results in excreting water from the body. Side effects of diuretics include lightheadedness, headache, and weakness.

Fluids and Water Loss Due to Caffeine – Many scientists claim that caffeine does not interfere with urine production in the long run as compared to other drinks. If you feel diuretic, you may feel dehydration as well.

Not only water, but your body will also lose salts and fluids, which will affect how your heart maintains your blood pressure. Dehydration fastens the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure. That makes you fatigued and tired.

People tend to take more caffeine when this happens, but this starts the never-ending cycle of lethargy and fatigue.

How Caffeine Affects the Blood Flow – Caffeine also decreases the diameter of blood vessels. The blood flow is affected by different parts of your system. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, you should rehydrate yourself. Make sure you have your water bottle with you all the time.

The average male adult is recommended to drink 3.7 liters of water every day while an average female is recommended to drink 2.7 liters of water every day.

Sugary Coffee Induces Sleep

Many people ask themselves why coffee puts me to sleep? A lot of people add sugar or sugary additives to their coffee. Studies have revealed that sugar messes up the activity of orexin cells. This is one of the reasons why you feel sleepy after having sweet coffee.

Orexin is the hormone in the brain responsible for wakefulness, appetite, stimulation and movement.

Your body processes sugar more swiftly than caffeine and leaves you with no energy. Mostly sugared coffees have little coffee and more milk and sugar. This will take you far from the caffeine kick and throw you into the abyss of a sugar rush.

Sugar comes in so many forms such as sweet syrups, cream, milk and other sweet additives that are added to the coffee. So be mindful when ordering your coffee.

How Long Does it Take for Coffee to Kick in?

Caffeine takes almost 40 – 60 minutes to kick in. The after-effects can be felt up to 3 to 4 hours.

One of the reasons coffee remains so popular is that the effects of caffeine can often be felt for 3-4 hours. Coffee takes a long time to process. That is the reason most people try avoiding having it after sunset.

It’s not a very good idea to be under caffeine influence for the most part of your day.

Can You Prevent the Effects of Caffeine

Generally, people are addicted to caffeine. It’s like a staple to get their day started and rightfully so as the caffeine kicks you to start your day, that no other beverage can. Eliminating caffeine from your diet is difficult, hence you must follow these guidelines to prevent the caffeine effects.

  • Do not exceed 400 mg of caffeine per day. 400mg makes two to four 8 ounce cups.
  • It is strictly recommended to keep sugar, sweet syrups and creams out of the way. Do not use them.
  • Milk is a great source of dehydration. To reap the real benefits of coffee take your coffee with regular or skim milk. 
  • If you regularly feel lethargic after having your cup of joe switch to tea or decaf coffee in the afternoon and feel the difference. Decaf coffee and tea is a lighter version of caffeine.
  • Coffee is the primary source of caffeine. But there are other beverages, chocolates and some over the counter painkillers that contain caffeine. So be watchful of the amount of caffeine you are taking in through different sources.
  • The daily recommendation is 400 mg and that should not be crossed if you want to minimize the caffeine effects.

Negative Impacts of Caffeine

Like any other substance, caffeine has its share of negative effects if it is consumed without moderation.

  • If you’re addicted to large quantities of caffeine and you decide to quit it, you will go through withdrawal symptoms. This can include upset stomach, headache and insomnia.
  • Caffeine increases blood pressure. If you already have a high blood pressure issue, you should monitor your caffeine intake strictly. Consult your doctor to avoid further difficulties.
  • Caffeine causes mood swings, migraines, sleeplessness and irritability.
  • Caffeine is acidic. Anything acidic affects your gut and stomach health. Large quantities of caffeine lead to IBS, diarrhea, constipation and acidity.
  • Having a strong coffee empty stomach may cause heartburn to some people.
  • Caffeine has an effect on your nervous system which can give you jitters. This might eventually lead to anxiety.

Benefits of Drinking Coffee

  • ​Caffeine is known to give an energy boost to your brain and enhances the concentration level. That’s why it is the top choice for people to have it when they start their day.
  • ​Coffee augments the blood flow and this raises your blood pressure. This aspect is beneficial for people having low blood pressure levels. It helps to keep their blood pressure stable.
  • ​Caffeine contains antioxidants. So it helps your immune system and keeps it strong.
  • Caffeine soothes headaches. If you are having a headache, try having a freshly brewed cup of joe and feel good as soon as caffeine enters your body.
  • Caffeine stimulates the happy hormones in the body. This is why some people find even the smell of coffee to be soothing and calming.
  • Coffee is an appetite suppressant. It stimulates your metabolism too, that is why many people drink black coffee as their pre-workout drink.
  • Coffee helps prevent bad cholesterol. The flavonoids in coffee prevent the bad cholesterol from oxidation thus preventing heart disease.
  • Coffee may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Coffee affects your brain positively when consumed in moderation and boosts the functioning of the central nervous system.
  • According to one study, people who drink coffee in moderation, reduce the risk of having dementia by 65 percent.
  • Coffee prevents tooth cavities. It is a well-known fact that caffeine causes stained teeth. A Wall Street Journal article says coffee beans have antibacterial properties and prevents tooth decay.

A Quick Wrap Up

Feeling of dizziness, lethargy or being sleepy after consuming a cup of Joe is not rare. Lately, if you have wondered why coffee makes you sleepy, you should know there are numerous factors that might have played a role.

Excess of everything can be harmful, which is why you need to be careful with your caffeine consumption. Follow the aforementioned guidelines and you won’t be having issues with the adverse effects of caffeine.

Additionally, give your body some time to be caffeine-free, try not to take caffeine in the evening or at night as it will adversely affect your sleep. When your body is caffeine-free for at least 12 hours, it will respond to coffee like magic when you have your first sip the next morning.

Also, take your coffee without sweeteners and cream, and make sure your water intake is good to give you the right balance that your body needs.