Sleep Awareness Week

1 - 7 October 2018

The 2018 Sleep Awareness Week will be focusing on caffeine and the role it has on society. Caffeine can be very effective for improving your concentration, alertness and energy. However, if you consume caffeine on a daily basis these positive effects can be brief and it can reduce the quantity and quality of your sleep. If you use caffeine to counter tiredness, feeling sluggish, or difficulty concentrating it could also be masking a sleep disorder.

Caffeine is a stimulate and acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist.” Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy.

The effects of caffeine reaches a peak within 30-60 minutes. The half-life (the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug) is 3-5 hours. The remaining caffeine can stay in your body for up to 24 hours. This can have a disruptive effect on your sleep.

One study has found that caffeine can actually delay the timing of your body clock. The effects of caffeine can even occur when you consume it earlier in the afternoon or evening. A study published in the journal, Sleep found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour. These effects also can be stronger in older adults as it takes their bodies a longer time to process caffeine.

Caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep and it can reduce the amount of deep sleep you have so it can also make staying asleep difficult.

If you rely on caffeine to help you concentrate, to boost your energy levels or to keep you feeling more alert during the day speak to your doctor. Caffeine could be masking an underlying sleep disorder.

Do you rely on caffeine to help you get through the day? Tell us your stories and thoughts (you can remain anonymous if you wish), email [email protected]

Information by Hypersomnolence Australia