Coffee addicts are well aware that, despite the undeniable energy-boosting elements their favorite brew has to offer, caffeine is a drug that affects the entire body’s functionality. This isn’t to say one cup will send you into overdrive, but excess consumption will ultimately do more harm than good, especially when your last cup of the day interferes with your sleep cycle. The latest time you can drink coffee before bed will ultimately depend on when you’d normally turn in for the night, but experts generally suggest you stay away from caffeine anywhere from six to eight hours prior.
Anytime you sip coffee, the stress hormone cortisol is stimulated and hinders melatonin, which effects your sleep. Michelle Miller, Physio Logic’s Clinical Nutritionist, MSACN, told Elite Daily,
Give yourself six to eight hours without caffeine before bed. If you’re someone who feels your caffeine- sensitive, then aim for 10-12 hours without caffeine before bed, or opt for decaf.
Always go for high-test or organic coffee when possible. This will filter out of your system more efficiently than commercial brands, allowing you to wind down sooner.
Unfortunately, the most efficient way to determine how much time you need in between your last cup of coffee and bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep is through pure trial and error.
In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, scientists from the Sleep Disorders & Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State College of Medicine found that participants administered 400 milligrams (roughly four cups) of coffee anywhere from zero to six hours before bed experienced sleep disturbance.
Aside from the inconvenience of insomnia, caffeine can also mess with your digestive track by increasing the amount of acid in your stomach, leading to heartburn or illness. It can even interfere with your circulatory and respiratory systems as it increases blood pressure.
Good luck having sweet dreams under those circumstances.