Most of us know that drinking coffee late at night is a big no-no if you actually want to get some semblance of a proper night’s sleep. However a new study has found that caffeine may in fact also affect your body’s circadian rhythm – the internal clock in your body that tells you when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep.
A study from the University of Colorado has found that caffeine can disrupt the release of melatonin – the hormone that is released at night and tells the body it’s time to go to sleep. In the study, participants who were given a caffeine pill three hours before bedtime had their release of melatonin delayed by 40 minutes. A similar effect is looking at a bright light such as that on your smartphone before going to bed which can delay the release of melatonin by up to 85 minutes.
Studies done in the past have suggested that people who are “night owls” tend to consume more caffeine than those who get up out of bed early. The results from the study suggest that caffeine consumption may play a role in why some people are more alert during the day and why some people are more alert at night. Those who don’t tend to be able to sleep well at night may need to rethink just how much caffeine they’re having throughout the day.