Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, caffeine could be keeping you awake even though you never consume it at night. That’s because caffeine has a longer-lasting effect than you may think.
Negative Health Effects of Insomnia
Caffeine disrupts deep (restorative) sleep and the ability to fall asleep which cuts down on total sleep time resulting in:
- Overeating and binge eating
- Weight gain
- Increased mortality — According to a study by the American Cancer Society (Mortality Associated with Sleep Duration and Insomnia), insufficient sleep can shorten your life. Causes of death associated with sleep duration include heart disease, stroke, and breast/colon cancer.
Why Caffeine Has a Lasting Effect (Half-Life Explained)
Caffeine has a half life of five to six hours. In other words, it takes five to six hours for the amount of caffeine in your body to be reduced to exactly one-half of its concentration. (Translation: the amount of caffeine remaining in your body after six hours is equal to the amount you excrete.)
How It Breaks Down
The half-life of caffeine in a healthy adult is six hours. This does not take into consideration half-life variables (see below) that can influence how fast/slow a person metabolizes caffeine.
- Due to the half-life of caffeine, caffeine starts accumulating in your body when you consume it throughout the day. This could be in the form of another drink, food, or even medication.
- For example, if you drink two cups of coffee every day at 8:00 AM, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM nearly 45 gm of caffeine could still be in your system.
- To compound the caffeinated effect, if you drink another cup of coffee at 2:00 PM as an afternoon pick-me-up, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM, nearly 90 gm of caffeine could still be in your system. That’s nearly the amount of caffeine in a 16-oz Frappuccino® — a clue as to why you may not be able to sleep well.
Your Personal Buzz (Half-Life Variables)
The half-life of caffeine is not a fixed number and can vary based on the individual. Variables include your: Continue reading “KRON 4 | Why Caffeine Has Long-Lasting Effects”
Would you ever drink a cup of Starbucks® iced brewed coffee at 2:00 AM, then wonder why you can’t fall asleep? Well, you may as well be doing that if you start each day with a grande-size coffee streaming through your veins.
Here’s why… Caffeine has a lasting effect — a half life of five to six hours to be exact. In other words, it takes five to six hours for the amount of caffeine in your body to be reduced to exactly one-half of its concentration. (Translation: the amount of caffeine remaining in your body after six hours is equal to the amount you flush down the porcelain throne.)
See How It Breaks Down
Due to the half-life of caffeine and the amount of caffeine in one grande-size Starbucks® coffee, if you drank one every day at 8:00 AM, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM nearly 44 gm of caffeine could still be in your system. That’s equivalent to a 6-oz cup of Starbucks® iced brewed coffee. See how it’s calculated: “The Effects from Drinking One Starbucks® Grande Per Day for Three Days“.
Caffeine starts accumulating in your body when you consume caffeine throughout the day. This could be in the form of another drink, food or even medication.
If you drink a Starbucks® short (8-oz cup) at 2:00 PM every afternoon in addition to your 8:00 AM morning grande, by Day 3 at 2:00 AM, nearly 91 gm of caffeine could still be in your system. That’s equivalent to one 12-oz Starbucks® iced brewed coffee (a clue to why you may not be able to fall asleep during the week). See how it’s calculated: “The Effects from Drinking One Starbucks® Grande and One Short Per Day for Three Days“.
Your Personal Buzz (Half-Life Variables)
The half-life of caffeine is not a fixed number and can vary from three to over seven hours based on the individual. Variables include your: Continue reading “The Starbucks® Effect | Is Caffeine Shortening Your Life?”
Is there a magic number of hours you should sleep? According to studies on sleep and mortality, insufficient sleep can shorten your life. Sleeping plays an important role in:
- Healing and repairing blood vessels
- Maintaining a healthy balance of hormones that control your appetite
- Controlling blood glucose (sugar)
- Repairing cells and tissues, thus boosting bone/muscle mass
- Defending against foreign or harmful substances
You can experience the following immediate and long-term health effects when you don’t get enough sleep:
- Diminished cognitive function
- Increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which cause the following:
- Increased appetite / See video: Undersleeping and Overeating
- Increased body weight
- Increased belly fat / See video: Beer Belly Anatomy 101
- Increased risk for type 2 diabetes
- Increased chronic low-level inflammation which leads to chronic disease (such as, coronary artery disease, dementia, and stroke)
- Increased blood pressure
If Seven is Good, Is Eight Better?
Many people believe that they need at least eight hours of sleep a night for good health. But a study* reveals that sleeping seven (7) hours per night had the best survival rates. In fact, mortality hazard significantly increased when sleeping:
- ≥8 hrs. (When sleeping >8.5 hrs., health risk exceeded 15%.)
- ≤6 hrs. (When sleeping <4.5 hrs., health risk exceeded 15%.)
Causes of death associated with sleep duration include:
- Heart disease
- ‘Other causes’
- Stroke (Deaths from stroke were highest in men and women who slept 8, 9, and ≥10 hrs.)
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
Bottom line: Those who reported they slept 6.5 to 7.4 hours had a lower mortality rate than those with shorter or longer sleep.
*Six-year study by American Cancer Society; 1.1 million men/women ages 30-50 to >70 years. Published JAMA Psychiatry article: Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia, 2002.
VIDEO: If you’re running on too little sleep, here’s how it can affect your waistline. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, hosts this compact segment of men’s health and fitness news in The Men’s Health Minute