I think we all recognise that the caffeine content in a cup of coffee can give you a real lift, often kick starting your day or maybe making that pile of paperwork on your desk slightly less daunting. It has for many years thought that the stimulating attributes of a coffee fix thorough the day made a late night or last thing cup of coffee a risk to settling down easily to sleep. Reading a report in the Telegraph recently written by their Science Editor I was surprised to see that research in the USA undertaken by bodies including the Harvard Medical School came to a much different conclusion.
Nearly 800 people were monitored for over 5000 days and nights with their consumption of not just caffeine but also alcohol and nicotine recorded for researchers. A combination of wrist sensors and sleep diaries were used. Although alcohol and nicotine ingestion produced clearly measurable reductions in sleep quantity and quality the research also found caffeine from late night coffee consumption had no measurable effect on the participants.
The Sleep Council recently found that 70% of UK adults regularly get less than 7 hours sleep a night and more than a quarter struggle with sleep quality. The NHS advice is to reduce or eliminate evening consumption of coffee, tea and energy drinks thus avoiding caffeine before bed, whilst this latest research shows other factors may well be the trigger.
I guess the oft quoted “most things in moderation” could apply to a good night’s sleep.
Written by: Colin from KSV