Something that everyone knows about coffee is that if you drink it too close to going to bed it’ll stop you getting a good night’s sleep. Well, it turns out that we were all wrong! If you’re struggling to sleep, new research shows that alcohol and cigarettes are far more likely to be the culprits than caffeine.
The study was carried out over a period of 14 years at a number of American universities and medical centres including Harvard. It followed 785 African Americans, who as a racial group are far more likely to suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. The study researched the effects of various factors including alcohol, the smoking of both real and electronic cigarettes and caffeine on sleep. They discovered that while caffeine had negligible negative effects, both nicotine and alcohol were likely to prevent a good night’s sleep.
The study is one of the largest ever carried out into the effects of various apparent stimulants on sleep, and involved each participant being given a sensor to wear on a wrist band. While the sensors monitored sleep, participants were also asked to note down how they slept, how they felt afterwards and what they drank, ate or smoked every night. Researchers also took into account other factors including whether or not participants were overweight, if they were anxious or stressed and their age and gender.
While caffeine was shown to have very little impact on sleep, alcohol was shown to have a negative impact, particularly if drunk less than four hours before going to bed. Nicotine turned out to be the worst offender, and people who either smoked or vaped got, on average, almost 45 minutes less sleep a night than non-smokers.
So the good news for coffee drinkers is that it doesn’t seem to matter what time of day you enjoy your favourite drink. Here at rijo42, we’re proud to supply some of the best coffee in the UK to Britain’s restaurants, cafes and offices. To find out more, visit the Coffee page of our website.