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Delay your morning coffee by an hour?

When you wake up, all bleary eyed and confused after tossing and turning all night, do you immediately dive into a freshly brewed cup of coffee to perk you up? Yes? Well, then according to sleep and health scientists you’re doing it all wrong. Apparently you should leave the cup of coffee out of your system for an hour after waking up to allow your body to do it naturally.

When we all wake up our body’s own wake up chemical, cortisol, should naturally give us a boost. But if you drink caffeine rich drinks like coffee it will lessen the effectiveness of cortisol. As time goes on and as you drink more early morning coffees, your body will acclimatise to that coffee boost by reducing its own morning stress service. So it’s better to wait until your body’s own cortisol boost has levelled out – which takes about an hour before having your first coffee.

The human brain has receptors on which hormones or neurotransmitters attach. The caffeine molecule looks confusingly similar to another of the body’s chemicals, adenosine. Normally, adenosine lets us know when we are tired. The more energy we use, the more adenosine is produced. This blocks the receptors and the more tired we all become.

When we consume caffeine, its molecules dock in the receptors. The parking space is now blocked, but the receptor doesn’t ‘see’ any adenosine, thinks it’s free and we think we are awake.

For this reason, you should not drink coffee from late afternoon on, as it disrupts our body clock and sleep quality and quantity.

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