Many people have a habit of drinking coffee at night after a meal. The problem is that the caffeine in the coffee is a stimulant. The most recognizable effect of drinking coffee is that you feel more alert. Interestingly, the caffeine in coffee suppresses melatonin production even more than bright light, playing havoc with your sleep-wake cycle.
You don’t feel the effects straight away. The caffeine takes a while to kick in, but the effects last for a couple of hours. It can take as long as 6 to 8 hours for its stimulant effects to fade. Stopping all caffeine consumption at about 2pm in the afternoon is recommended because it has such a long-lasting effect. If it takes about 8 hours for only half the caffeine to be metabolized, stopping at about 2pm means you will be able to fall asleep at about 10:30pm.
The quantity of caffeine consumed is another factor. You tend to forget that caffeine is found in other sources like tea, sodas, energy drinks and chocolate. Energy drinks and sodas are full of caffeine and sugar. If you’re regularly relying on these drinks to make it through the day, insomnia is likely to become a problem. Consuming too much caffeine on a daily basis can seriously affect your health and your sleep.
The side-effects of over-consumption of caffeine include heart palpitations, nervousness, upset stomach, the frequency of urination and muscle tremors. Chronic over-consumption of caffeine can even lead to a condition called adrenal fatigue. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. You will have to figure out whether what you are consuming is affecting your sleep. Try drinking decaf coffee after 2pm if you seriously can’t give up your coffee. It may take a while getting used to not having that caffeine kick, but it may just cure your sleeplessness.