People have admitted to staying up too late and relying on coffee to get through the next day, but a recent study reveals that caffeine has a limit.
Too Much Coffee Is Bad For Health
That cup or cups of coffee may keep them awake the next day, but their performance will most certainly be mediocre, particularly when it comes to more difficult jobs.
Caffeine will certainly boost their mood and alertness, as well as their ability to attend to basic activities, according to research author Kimberly Fenn, an associate professor of cognition and cognitive neuroscience at Michigan State University’s Sleep and Learning Lab.
Caffeine simply cannot substitute a good night’s sleep, and it is vital that people prioritize sleep and if they must go without sleep, take the required precautions, such as avoiding driving or performing any high-stakes work, Fenn added.
Researchers challenged more than 275 participants to perform a basic attention challenge as well as a more difficult one that required them to complete activities in a certain order without missing or repeating steps to obtain a better picture of what coffee can and cannot achieve in the face of sleep deprivation. The latter is referred to as a place-keeping duty.
People either stayed up in the lab or went home to sleep. All individuals did both activities again in the morning after consuming a pill containing either 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine or a placebo. A cup of normal coffee (236 mL) may contain 75 to 120 mg of caffeine.
Sleep deprivation hampered performance in both activities. The study discovered that caffeine helped respondents complete the easier job but not the more difficult one.
Caffeine can only assist people with response speed if they are sleep-deprived, not with remembering the steps they need to do in a process, as per Michael Breus, a sleep medicine expert and clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. He has no connection to the new study.
Other specialists who were not involved in the study were quick to warn out that sleep deprivation is harmful, especially in the long run.
People wear sleep deprivation as a badge of courage, claiming that it is a poor replacement for caffeine, but this is not true and can be dangerous, according to sleep medicine expert Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Dasgupta believes that pulling an all-nighter is the worst thing a student can do to excel on an exam. If they are taking an exam or completing a difficult activity at work, they require good-quality, deeply restorative sleep.
The latest study only looked at how coffee counteracted one night of sleep deprivation, but sleep loss is frequently chronic, according to Thomas Roth, director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.
People who sleep five hours a night accrue sleep debt, so although coffee may assist them on the first day, it will benefit them less on the fifth day as they acquire even more sleep debt, he noted.
They will also build a tolerance for coffee and require more and more to feel alert, raising their chances of negative effects, according to Dr. Camilo Ruiz, medical director of Sleep and Internal Medicine Specialists, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Caffeine has long been used as a brief stimulant to boost focus, according to Ruiz. However, its effects are transient, and side effects such as heart palpitations, jitteriness, and increased urine, to mention a few, can be as bad as the lack of focus or drowsiness itself.