Unlocking the Hidden Secrets: Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy?

Last updated on January 15th, 2024 at 06:05 pm

Why does coffee make me sleepy? Here are a few reasons that can be explained.
Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and many people drink it to stay alert and energized. However, some people may experience the opposite effect and feel sleepy after drinking coffee.

Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy?

Lots of people ask “Why does coffee make me sleepy”? There are several possible reasons why coffee can make you sleepy, and they are related to how caffeine affects your brain, body, and hydration.

Table of Contents

Coffee Blocks Adenosine

Adenosine is a naturally present hormone that makes you sleepy. This hormone controls your sleep-wake cycle. It increases during the awake hours and decreases while you sleep.

When you consume coffee, your body absorbs caffeine, and it sticks to your adenosine receptors.

This prevents adenosine from binding to them and makes you feel tired. However, this effect is only temporary. As caffeine wears off, the adenosine that was blocked will flood your receptors, making you feel even more sleepy than before.

Coffee Causes Dehydration

The primary reason why coffee makes you sleepy sometimes is likely because it’s making you dehydrated. Coffee is a diuretic. In other words, it makes you need to urinate.

Drinking it to stay awake can quickly lead to a vicious dehydrating cycle that actually makes you more tired.

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, and reduced cognitive performance. To avoid this, make sure you drink enough water along with your coffee, especially if you drink more than one cup a day.

Coffee Affects Your Blood Sugar

Another reason why coffee can make you go to sleep is that it can affect your blood sugar levels. Caffeine can stimulate the release of insulin, which lowers your blood sugar.

This can cause a sudden drop in energy and mood, making you feel sleepy and irritable.

Moreover, if you add sugar or cream to your coffee, you may experience a sugar crash after the initial boost. This can also make you feel tired and crave more sweets.

To prevent this, try drinking black coffee or adding low-calorie sweeteners instead.

Coffee Interferes With Your Sleep Quality

Coffee can also make you go to sleep because it interferes with your sleep quality at night. Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours, which means that it takes that long for half of it to leave your system.

If you drink coffee in the afternoon or evening, it may still be in your bloodstream when you go to bed. This can prevent you from falling asleep quickly and reaching deep sleep stages.

As a result, you may wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed the next day. 

To avoid this, limit your coffee intake to the morning or early afternoon, and avoid drinking more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, about 4 cups of coffee, assuming an 8-ounce cup.

Coffee Affects You Differently

Finally, coffee can make you go to sleep because it affects you differently than others. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, depending on their genetics, metabolism, age, weight, and other factors.

Some people may feel energized and alert after drinking coffee, while others may feel jittery and anxious.

Some people may metabolize caffeine faster than others, while others may retain it longer in their system. Therefore, the effects of coffee on your sleepiness may vary depending on your characteristics.


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