Sleep Foundation

Late caffeine


Caffeine is well known stimulant found in coffee, tea, soft-drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine is thought to interfere with sleep by blocking a chemical called adenosine in the brain. Adenosine is an important promotor of sleep.

People have very different tolerances to caffeine. Some people are very sensitive and just small amounts of caffeine can create over-alertness and inhibit sleep. Other people are genetically “fast-metabolisers” of caffeine and have no problem having a late evening coffee and then going to sleep. Knowing how you respond to caffeine is important.

To improve health consider

  • Do not drink caffeine containing drinks after early afternoon.
  • Reflect on whether you need caffeine to keep you awake through the day. If so, what do you need to change so that you are not always tired and needing caffeine to get through the day.
  • Consider if it would be better for you to stop caffeine entirely. Caffeine may be addictive for some people, if so know that it gets easier to avoid as time passes.


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