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Is drinking coffee after 4 p.m. a problem in getting to sleep?

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This is no scoop: coffee is widely consumed around the world. A real boost in the morning, it is also consumed at different times of the day. However, many amateurs refuse to drink it after a certain time, for fear that the caffeine will interfere with their sleep.

A simple received idea?

No less than 255 kg of coffee are consumed on average every second around the world. In France according to a 2018 IFOP survey, 83% of citizens consume coffee, 62% of which for breakfast. On average, the French consume 482 cups of coffee per year and per person. It must be said that this drink contains a psychotropic stimulant: caffeine, allowing you to hold out all day. However, many consumers stop drinking coffee after 4 p.m. In the collective unconscious, drink would prevent sleep in the event of consumption too late.

An article published by Metro UK on March 13, 2021 gave the floor to Verena Senn, a neuroscientist and German sleep specialist at Emma – The Sleep Company, a sleep clinic. The interested party explains that the mechanism of the coffee capable of keeping us awake during the day does not necessarily prevent sleeping. Not wanting to consume coffee especially after 4 p.m. – the better to sleep in the evening – is simply popular belief.

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Shades that matter

According to Verena Senn, people expend energy during their daily activities. As a result, they increase adenosine production, a substance that blocks certain areas of the brain that promote wakefulness. At the same time, adenosine activates areas that help sleep. However, caffeine slightly prevents the activation of these areas. This has the effect of inhibiting the effect of fatigue and increasing alertness.

Coffee can therefore influence sleep by prolonging the phase of falling asleep. It can also be a question of a reduction in the duration of sleep, or an alteration in its quality. However, Verena Senn claims that this is not valid for all organizations. Humans are therefore not all in the same boat when it comes to the effects of coffee.

In other words, some people might drink a cup of coffee at 11 p.m. and not feel any discomfort. Others, however, would have no choice but to consume it only in the morning. However, the time of coffee is one thing and the amount consumed is another. Indeed, consume the equivalent of a whole coffee maker during the day instead of one or two cups is much more risky for sleep!


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