According to the National Coffee Association report, an average of 62% of American citizens consumes coffee as a wake-up beverage daily. Most people who drink coffee do so to improve their attentiveness and increase energy levels.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that an eight-ounce cup of coffee drink contains an average of 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. Remember that caffeine is one of the substances present in coffee that acts as a brain stimulant.
However, people react differently to caffeine. In some people consuming even one cup of coffee will make you feel tired or sleepy. But why does coffee make me sleepy?
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Coffee Blocks Adenosine
Adenosine is a crucial chemical present in all cells of your body and is classified as a chemical messenger in the brain or an important neurotransmitter. The chemical controls many biochemical processes in the brain and particularly the pattern of sleep.
In your brain, adenosine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that inhibits wakefulness. Ideally, adenosine helps you feel sleepy by regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
Caffeine has a high affinity to adenosine and will bind to the adenosine receptors in the brain. Caffeine will block the receptors from receiving the needed adenosine. It is important to note that caffeine will not suppress the production of adenosine.
Thus, when caffeine’s effects in the adenosine receptors wear off, there will be a build of adenosine. High levels of adenosine will make you want to sleep and also lead to tiredness.
Coffee Acts as a Diuretic
Diuretics stimulate the excretion of water and salt through urine. Coffee is classified as a potent diuretic, and drinking in large amounts will lead to diuresis. Thus, drinking many cups of coffee in a day may put you at risk of dehydration since you are excreting too much water and electrolytes.
However, scientists believe that the diuretic effect of coffee will not cause severe dehydration since the drink is also a source of fluid in the body.
However, if you note an increase in the frequency of urination, your body might get dehydrated.
Dehydration affects the cardiovascular system since it reduces the amount of fluid available in the body. The heart is forced to pump faster as a compensatory mechanism due to the lowered blood pressure.
The cardiovascular changes can make you feel tired and dizzy. Thus you will want to sleep more than usual.
You have Build Tolerance to Caffeine
If you regularly consume caffeinated beverages, your body will develop tolerance. Remember that caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors from receiving adenosine; with time, the body will resort to a compensatory mechanism to counteract the effects of caffeine. Thus, in the long run, your body will make more adenosine receptors.
Consequently, over time your body will develop tolerance to the effects of caffeine in the body, such as alertness. If such physiologic changes occur, your body will not be affected by the stimulant effects of coffee.
The high number of adenosine receptors will lead to the binding of more adenosine. The final result is that you will sleep more.
The Sweeteners in Coffee Raises Blood Sugar Levels
When drinking your coffee drink, you can add sweeteners such as honey, sugar, or whipped cream. The sweeteners increase the level of sugars circulating in your body. In response, your pancreas produces insulin which reduces the level of blood sugar.
In some circumstances, your body will produce high insulin levels, significantly reducing blood glucose levels below the average. It leads to a physiologic state known as hypoglycemia, and your body will experience reduced energy levels.
Some of the side effects of hypoglycemia include irritability, dizziness, and feeling hungry. In such a state, your body will want to sleep.
Coffee Beans may be Contaminated
According to research done, 91.7% of the coffee samples had traces of mold contamination. In another study, the coffee samples contained traces of mycotoxins, such as ochratoxin A and aflatoxin B1. In 2013, a study established that mycotoxins contamination could lead to chronic fatigue.
If you are still wondering, ”why does coffee make me sleepy?” the problem can be due to coffee bean contamination.
Caffeine Increases Level of Stress
Caffeine causes the increased production of two hormones, cortisol, and epinephrine. Epinephrine is produced when the body is responding to internal and external stimuli of stress in the body. The hormone will signal your heart to pump blood harder. High levels of this hormone will cause your blood pressure to go up.
Other side effects include dizziness, weakness, and a throbbing headache. In such a physiological state, you will want to sleep more.
Also, caffeine will lead to double the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone produced in the hypothalamus; it coordinates your sleep cycles and will induce stress in the body. If you have too much cortisol in your body, it is normal to feel fatigued.
Typically, epinephrine and cortisol put your body in a bad physiological state. This state will tire you out and increase the urge to sleep.
How to Minimize the Effects of Coffee
According to Mayo Clinic, every individual should consume only four eight-ounce cups of coffee daily. Taking minimum caffeine in a day will reduce the effects of the stimulant.
Secondly, ensure you are taking enough water to avoid mild to severe dehydration; remember that coffee works as a diuretic.
You can also drink electrolyte replacement drinks in case you note that your body is dehydrated. You can try products such as electrolyte solutions or buy sports drinks.
But you should carefully scrutinize the ingredients of the products to ensure they don’t contain caffeine.
Coffee is a prevalent stimulant beverage in many parts of the world. However, remember that the powerful stimulant penetrates the blood-brain barrier and can affect many physiological functions of the brain. Ensure you monitor the levels of caffeine you consume daily.
If you find that you are feeling sleepy after taking coffee or have any other adverse side effects, ensure you regulate the intake of coffee. Lastly, if you are asking yourself,” why does coffee make me sleepy” the article above answers your question.