Sleeplessness in Melbourne (It’s the Coffee)

sleeping insomnia coffee

The International Coffee Expo will be in Melbourne this week. There will a lot of sleepless people.

The aroma of a fresh coffee got our Bedshed staff thinking about how caffeine helps wake us up, and how coffee sometimes contributes to sleeplessness. Many of us love coffee for that morning boost. We even drink coffee during the day to wake us up when we are feeling drowsy. So, how does coffee work?

Caffeine enters our bloodstream within 15 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee. The caffeine binds with the receptors in our brain that would normally slow our nerve activity to make us feel drowsy. These receptors instead begin to stimulate our brain instead of slow it down. The increased brain activity triggers our adrenal glands which stimulates everything from increased blood pressure and heart rate to the release of dopamine, a natural mood booster.

Many people use coffee to overcome excessive daytime sleepiness, but as we age most of us become more sensitive to caffeine. As we get older coffee and caffeinated beverages are more likely to aggravate insomnia, stress or sleeplessness. For some of us that work night-shifts, sleeplessness may be caused by the combined effect of disrupting our natural daylight and night sleep cycle and drinking caffeinated beverages to stay alert during evening shifts.

University studies found that drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening inhibits our brain from releasing melatonin, an important chemical that helps our body get deep, restful sleep. To avoid sleeplessness at night, some researchers suggest we enjoy our cup of coffee in the morning and do not drink caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening.

Despite losing some sleep, coffee has some great health benefits (when we drink coffee and caffeinated beverage in moderate amounts). Research suggests moderate amounts of coffee improves our mood, may reduce our chances of developing basal cell skin cancer and may improve insulin / sugar tolerance and metabolism. So, go ahead and enjoy that morning cup of coffee!

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