Tick tock, caffeine o'clock
We get it - sometimes when that afternoon lull hits, there’s nothing that can zap us out of it quite like a double shot of espresso.
But, how late in the day can you actually drink coffee without it wrecking havoc on your sleep?
According to the Guardian’s recent deep-dive into all things caffeine, when it comes to deciding when you self-impose a coffee curfew, you have to think about how long it kicks about in your body for.
Caffeine has a half-life of about six hours, so if you’re necking a flat white at 4pm to get you through the end of your shift, half of the caffeine in it will still be buzzing about in your body at 10pm.
Yeah - it’s unsurprising that we have trouble nodding off after an afternoon latte.
It’s not just that you might struggle to nod off, research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that drinking the equivalent of a double espresso three hours before you hit the sack can turn your body clock back almost an hour and give you ‘jet lag’.
But does that mean we should just down as much coffee as we can in the morning?
Nick Littlehales, a sleep coach who has worked with several high-profile football teams, told the Guardian that: “I see a lot of people who have three coffees more or less back to back in the morning. They’re at 1,000-1,500mg of caffeine before they get to lunchtime – then they stop their intake.
“That’s not a sensible way to do things: it’s about keeping it nice and level, with no big ups and downs. Keep track of when you have a little bit of a low-energy lull, then you can actually use your caffeine intake strategically, to help you out at key times.”
The takeaway (coffee?) from all of this? Pace your coffees out in the morning and leave a big ol’ gap between your last one and bedtime. Your body will thank you for it.