To some of us, “life saver” doesn’t begin to describe how much of a difference coffee makes in our daily lives. But a study reports that your caffeine intake can only do so much. (Cue collective “Nooo!”)
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, when sleep is restricted to only 5 hours a night, caffeine is considered useless by the third day.
Research included a double blind experiment – both doctor and guinea pig don’t know which is placebo and which is real – of 48 healthy individuals where their sleep was restricted to 5 hours for 5 consecutive nights. Half were then given 200 mg of caffeine (about two cups of coffee) while the other half were given a placebo twice a day for 5 days.
Researchers then tested their mood, sleepiness and congitiviness every day, finding that on the third day caffeine no longer boosted their alertness.
This means that coffee – or your caffeinated drink of choice – will not help you stay alert after three nights of less than needed sleep. At least that is what this study is claiming.
Now, they didn’t increase the caffeine during the experiment, but I’m not a doctor and I’m sure that would cause other health issues, so might as well just get some extra sleep. Also, caffeine affects everyone differently.