Why Does Coffee Make Me Sleepy Instead of Awake

By March 24, 2017

What is your beverage of choice when you want to stay awake? For a lot of people, the answer is a strong cup of coffee. However, coffee can actually have the opposite effect! Bennett Weinberg, who has written two books about the beverage, says caffeine present in coffee stimulates the central nervous system; however, too much of it can actually reduce energy levels. Of course you may have the question “why does coffee make me sleepy instead of awake? Or to say, why does caffeine not affect me?

Why does coffee make me sleepy instead of awake

#1 Drinking Too Muck Coffee Will Dehydrate You

The impact made you feel energetic of coffee disappears in a short time, so you’re eager to have one more cup of coffee. Coffee is a diuretic and the more coffee you drink, the more you will urinate, which makes you dehydrated. The increased frequency of urination will reduce the water in your system. Decreased water in the system reduces the flow of your body slowly and you will feel even more tired than before.  (Learn: What Happens If You Drink Too Much Coffee)

Therefore, drinking coffee to stay alert and awake creates a vicious cycle that is very difficult to succeed. Drinking more and more coffee exhausts the nervous system and the sympathetic nerves become numb to the effects of caffeine.  During this stage, you will not get that boost of energy, instead, you will have increased urge to visit the bathroom and feel more tired and sleepy.

how caffeine work in your brain

#2 Adenosine Makes You Sleepy When Caffeine Wears Off

How does coffee work to keep you awake? The caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine receptors in your brain from receiving adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes fatigue. Although caffeine prevents your brain from receiving adenosine, it doesn’t stop your body from producing the neurotransmitter. Thus, when the caffeine wears off, there is a buildup of adenosine that will make you sleepy. In other word, your body have built tolerance to caffeine. (How Long Does Caffeine Stay in Your Body )

Caffeine isn’t making you sleepy, because it doesn’t impact how much adenosine your body manufacturers. It does, however, delay the effects of that adenosine so that you feel it all at once in a rush when the caffeine wears off. (Tip: how many mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee)

 adenosine and caffeine

#3 Sweet Coffee Gives You a Sugar Crush

Why does coffee make you sleepy? Maybe you have experienced  a sugar crash, as your coffee’s especially sweet. Sugar is processed much more quickly than coffee, and once your body runs out, it will leave you no energy. If you drink coffee-flavored drinks that have lots of sugar but little coffee, you may actually be experiencing a sugar rush and crash, more than a caffeine boost. So, it is best for you to avoid sugar in coffee.

coffee and sweet

The reason why coffee makes us sleepy instead of awake overturns our stereotype of coffee. So, I’d like to give you some advice about how to keep active without coffee, such as use cold water to splash on your face and your wrists or drink a glass full of ice cold water. And you can also distract yourself by talking with neighbors or spending some time on Facebook. Unwinding or relaxing for a short period of time can be helpful and keep you more awake than your regular shot of caffeine. Most of all, having a healthy lifestyle is the key to the problem indeed!

Tips: Find some easy to use coffee tools to help you make a cup of coffee. 

Related: Difference between Light, Medium & Dark Roast

What is the Difference between Decaf and Regular Coffee

What is the Right Coffee Grind Size for Different Brewing Methods

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