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Switch to Decaf after 5 p.m.
If you are like many Americans, you might opt for a cup of coffee after dinner or even on the way home from work as a pick-me-up. However, doing this will most likely affect the amount of sleep you’ll get that night.
Research has found that having a cup of coffee after 5 p.m. can affect your sleep, even if you do not notice it. A study published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that having caffeine a whopping 6 hours before you go to bed can actually reduce your nightly sleep by more than an hour.
“Drinking a big cup of coffee on the way home from work can lead to negative effects on sleep just as if someone were to consume caffeine closer to bedtime,” said study author Christopher Drake, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University in Detroit.
In the study, participants were given caffeine pills and some placebos. Taking the caffeine pill even 6 hours before going to bed reduced the amount of sleep participants got. However, those participants didn’t necessarily notice the effects.
“People tend to be less likely to detect the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep when taken in the afternoon,” Drake said.
Even if you don’t notice it, it’s likely that having that cup of coffee later in the day is going to wind up doing you more harm than good. Skip the caffeine, and switch to a decaffeinated alternative. You’ll feel more rested tomorrow, which may help you to forget why you ever needed coffee late in the day in first place.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.