A small and preliminary study suggests that caffeine does more than serve as an eye-opener: When consumed before bed, the most widely consumed beverage in the world seems to disrupt the body's internal clock.
And this could cause jet lag-style sluggishness during daylight hours, the study authors suggest.
The research doesn't say anything about how coffee consumption in the morning or throughout the day may affect the body's internal clock. And the findings need to be confirmed.
Still, it seems likely that coffee at night "isn't just keeping you awake," said study sleep researcher Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "It's also pushing your clock later so you want to go to sleep later."
The researchers found that the caffeine appeared to delay the body clocks of the study participants by 40 minutes, about half the delay linked to exposure to bright light.
The amount of caffeine was small, the equivalent of about a double espresso or medium cup of coffee for most people, Wright said. "We're not talking about a lot of caffeine here."
Caffeine affects signaling within cells, disrupting your sleep clock.
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Suggested Use: 1 at night