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February 5, 2014

Have Sleepless Nights? Thanks Starbucks

sleepless nights
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Cup of Joe and Sleepless Nights

Do you like your coffee? Well, that cup of pick me up that so many Americans rely on to get through the day is causing them sleepless nights. Even a single mid-day cup of coffee increases your chances of having a troubling night of sleep.

I can honestly say this. I’ve never had a cup of coffee. I had a sip of my mom’s when I was young and never saw what was so desirable about it. Maybe it was the rim of lipstick on the cup or the lingering effects of cigarette smoke emanating from the coffee cup that I found offensive, but in any case, I ‘ve never tried a cup of coffee since.

So I cannot relate to all of you who are reading this who are coffee drinkers. I never even made a cup of coffee – that’s how worthless I am on this coffee drinking topic.

But, I’ve always wondered why is it a cup of Joe?  Why are they using my name? Don’t they know I don’t drink it or know how to make a cup of coffee? Why am I writing this if I don’t understand coffee drinkers? Actually, the problem isn’t coffee as much as it is caffeine. Caffeine is probably the most used drug.

Caffeine I do understand and that’s what qualifies me – just your average Joe, but not your average Cup of Joe, to write this.

A small study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reported the findings of consuming caffeine at 0, 3, and 6 hours before going to bed. Here’s the bottom line. Consuming 400 mg caffeine 6 hours or less before can disrupt sleep (the equivalent to two to three cups of coffee).

Even consuming caffeine 6 hours before bed caused an lost hour of sleep. It was also found that the effects of caffeine last up to 12 hours. Caffeine not only interferes with falling asleep but also interferes staying alseep, consequently.

The good news! Morning coffee does not appear to affect sleep based on other studies. So if you really like the taste of coffee indulge in it in the morning.

Are You Having Sleepless Nights

If you are prone to sleepless nights one of the first things to consider is reducing your consumption of caffeinated drinks and not to consume any caffeine after 5 PM.

The importance of a good night sleep is way underestimated. While you are asleep your brain is very active – it is not idle.

Poor sleep leads to poor work performance, weight gain, increased stress, increase risk of accidents, lower libido, and decrease mental sharpness. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to depression, high blood pressure, strokes, life expectancy, overall decreased quality of life, a may increase the risk of some cancers like colon cancer.

Also, the body runs on a circadian rhythm that controls hormone production and release. Sleep is when most of our daily production of growth hormone is released. In adults, growth hormone is primarily a repair or rejuvenating hormone.

Now you know why you look so terrible in the morning after a poor night of sleep. And, a cup of Joe won’t fix that.


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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