How many of us wake up on a morning, before a workout, and reach for the coffee? It becomes the norm. You end up thinking you need a coffee just to start the day.
There’s a reason for this according to the Sleep Disorders & Research Center at the Henry Ford Hospital. Your body gets into an ever-increasing circle of caffeine dependency. You wake up and this cycle is already kicking in fooling you into assuming a coffee is necessary.
Research by the Sleep Disorders & Research Center concluded it’s this cycle which causes erratic sleep, which in turn means it’s tougher to wake up and get going first thing. An undisturbed quality night’s sleep would enable you to feel refreshed and more likely to start the day with more enthusiasm.
On average, people in the United Kingdom have their first coffee at 8.30am, then two additional cups a day. The issue is, as we have one so early, we tend to spread out our caffeine dependency, having another late morning and then drinking coffee again late in the afternoon to keep us going through the day. This, in turn, has an effect on disturbing our sleep, upsetting our natural biorhythms.
The reason why you shouldn’t touch caffeine early is that it mimics the stress response and causes cortisol levels to rise even further. Our body produces cortisol soon after we wake, peaking at around 8-9am, naturally keeping us awake, alert and ready to hit the day without the need for a coffee.
So, what was the conclusion? Have your first coffee roughly around 10am. This will help your body last longer without coffee. Assuming you have a second cup early afternoon, you’ll also allow enough time for it to clear your body before bed and your reliance on caffeine. Dr Sarah Brewer, who lead the research says “by 2pm your cortisol levels are falling again, and the alerting effect of your first cup of coffee has worn off. Therefore 2pm is the perfect time for that second cup to set you up for the afternoon”.
So, perhaps you can try and talk your mind out of demanding that early morning coffee and try and push the first cup until mid-morning, allowing your body to require less caffeine and regulate your alert level more naturally.