Why does coffee make you sleepy?

Coffee can make you sleepy. (Pic via Pexels/Igor Haritanovich)

Coffee is widely known for its ability to keep us alert and awake, making it a popular drink for people to start their day or stay productive throughout the day.

Coffee can also make you sleepy, a common complaint many have after drinking coffee, so it can be frustrating when you're trying to stay alert and productive. So, let's explore some reasons why coffee can make you sleepy:

Here's why coffee makes you sleep

The answer to the complaint 'coffee makes me sleepy' lies in the chemical makeup of coffee.

The main active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, a natural stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Caffeine works by blocking the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and drowsiness in the brain.

When caffeine blocks adenosine, it prevents it from binding to its receptors, which in turn reduces the feeling of tiredness.

However, the effects of caffeine vary from person to person, and some are more sensitive to its effects than others.

For these individuals, drinking coffee may cause an initial burst of energy, followed by a crash that leads to sleepiness. This crash happens when the caffeine wears off, and the adenosine that has accumulated in the brain takes over, causing the feeling of tiredness.

Another reason why coffee can make you sleepy is dehydration. Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it can increase urine production and cause dehydration. When you're dehydrated, blood volume decreases, and blood pressure drops, which can make you feel sleepy and lethargic.

Coffee can make you sleepy. (Pic via Pexels/Porapak Apichodilok)
Coffee can make you sleepy. (Pic via Pexels/Porapak Apichodilok)

Some people may be consuming too much caffeine, leading to what's known as a caffeine overdose. Consuming high amounts of caffeine can cause jitters, anxiety and insomnia, but it can also lead to drowsiness and fatigue, as the body tries to process and eliminate the excess caffeine.

Lastly, there may be other factors at play, such as sleep habits and lifestyle choices. Drinking coffee late in the day, not getting enough sleep and experiencing high levels of stress can all contribute to feeling sleepy after drinking coffee.

Edited by Bhargav
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