There are several reasons why coffee might not be effective at waking you up.
Firstly, your body can build up a tolerance to the caffeine in coffee, which can make it less effective over time.
If you’re not getting enough sleep or if you’re constantly waking up/ not in a deep sleep for enough time, then coffee might not be able to provide the boost of energy that you’re looking for the next day.
Also, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different. What works for one person might not work for another. Our bodies are all programmed differently and therefore you won’t always see the same reaction as someone else.
It’s always a good idea to pay attention to how your body responds to caffeine and adjust your intake accordingly.
The Magic Behind How Caffeine Works
So, what does caffeine actually do?
The way caffeine works is by blocking the action of adenosine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain. Adenosine promotes sleepiness, therefore if caffeine blocks this chemical from causing that, then it will have the adverse effect of adenosine and keep you awake and lively.
Caffeine also stimulates the release of other neurotransmitters… dopamine and norepinephrine. Which can further enhance alertness and focus. However, it’s important to keep in mind that caffeine can also have negative effects, such as anxiety and disrupted sleep, if consumed in large amounts.
Why Doesn’t Caffeine Wake Me Up?
The main ingredient in coffee that causes it to help wake us up is caffeine. There are several reasons why caffeine might not be effective at waking you up.
Below we have covered the main factors that reduce the effects of caffeine and can cause it to “not work” so to speak. The reasoning may be different for everyone, which is why establishing it makes it easier to be able to deal with it and stop it from happening, so you can enjoy a deliciously tasting coffee that makes you feel more awake once again!
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most common contributing factors as to why it’s harder for caffeine to give you a boost of energy. According to Mayo Clinic, adults should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep every night!
As you’ve probably experienced before, lack of sleep makes your body feel very fatigued. Caffeine isn’t a miracle worker, unfortunately, it cannot provide you with the burst of energy you need throughout the day if you haven’t had enough sleep. You will have much more alertness and focus from a caffeine supplement if you’re well-rested.
Additionally, caffeine can interfere with sleep, so if you’re not getting enough sleep and you’re also consuming caffeine, you may find yourself in a vicious cycle.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and to consume caffeine in moderation to avoid negative effects.
Lack of Hydration/ Water
Not being hydrated and not getting enough water can definitely make it harder for caffeine to give you a boost of energy. Water is essential for many processes in the body, including the proper function of your brain.
When you’re dehydrated, your body has to work harder to function properly, which can leave you feeling fatigued and drained. Dehydration is also one of the leading causes of headaches. If you then have caffeine supplements whilst dehydrated, it can make you feel considerably worse.
Caffeine can help to temporarily improve focus and alertness, but it can’t overcome the effects of severe dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re also consuming caffeine.
Although prescribed medicines are very important to patients, they can block some of the effects of caffeine and halt the process of caffeine and coffee making you feel awake. There are certain medications in particular known for doing this.
For example, some medications for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can reduce the metabolism of caffeine, which can increase its effects and make it more likely to cause side effects such as jitteriness and anxiety.
On the other hand, certain pain medications and headache remedies, like paracetamol, can contain caffeine, so if you’re taking medication like this and consuming caffeine from coffees, supplements, etc. you may be getting more caffeine than you realize. Please ensure you aren’t going above the daily caffeine limit for adults.
When prescribed medication, it is worth having a chat with the doctor or pharmacist about the medication you are taking.
Developing a tolerance to caffeine means your body becomes more accustomed to it. Adapting to something like caffeine means the effects will lessen unless you increase the amount you take (this may not necessarily be safe).
If you consume caffeine regularly, you’ll start to build up a tolerance to it which means that you need to consume more caffeine to get the same effects. Increased caffeine intake can increase the risk of negative effects such as jitteriness and anxiety.
Additionally, if you stop consuming caffeine for a period of time and then try to use it again to boost alertness, you may find that it doesn’t work as well as it used to.
To avoid developing a tolerance to caffeine, it’s important to consume it in moderation and to give your body regular breaks from caffeine.
Increasing The Likelihood of Coffee Waking You Up
There are some things that you can do to increase the likelihood of caffeine being effective and you having a nice coffee that will make you feel more awake.
These options may not be what you want to hear or do, however, long term they will be beneficial. It might be the case that you have to sacrifice having caffeine for a while to then be able to start seeing the effects of it once again.
Change Your Coffee
Changing your coffee can be one method to see improved results from caffeine consumption. For example, you might increase the strength and amount of coffee you have per cup if you are on a low dosage.
Another option would be to switch to decaf coffee for maybe a few weeks. This will allow you to enjoy the luscious taste of coffee without actually consuming any caffeine.
Change How You Brew Your Coffee
Changing how you brew your coffee can also be an effective technique. For example, why not change it up and go from a French press to an espresso machine? Or maybe to a drip brew method. This can slightly affect the amount of caffeine per cup.
Take a Short Break
Taking a break from coffee can help to improve its effectiveness at waking you up. However, this is possibly the last option to take as it is not what people want to hear or have to do.
By dropping caffeine from your diet completely, it can reduce the tolerance that you build up over time. Then, when it comes round to consuming caffeine once again, you will notice that smaller intakes will prove to be effective.
One way to avoid this is to give your body regular breaks from caffeine. This can help to reset your tolerance to caffeine and make it more effective when you do consume it.
Additionally, taking a break from caffeine can also help to improve the quality of your sleep, which can make you feel more rested and alert. It’s generally a good idea to consume caffeine in moderation and to give your body regular breaks from it to avoid negative effects and to keep it working effectively.
To conclude our thoughts on this, there are evidently several things you can do to increase the chances that coffee will be effective at waking you up.
Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep, quality being the keyword in there. Sleep is essential for your body to function properly, and without enough of it, caffeine may not be able to provide the same level of alertness and focus.
Additionally, try to consume caffeine in moderation and avoid overdoing it. Too much caffeine can cause negative effects such as anxiety and disrupted sleep, which can make it harder for caffeine to be effective at boosting alertness.
Finally, pay attention to how your body responds to caffeine and adjust your intake accordingly. Everyone’s body is different, so what works for one person may not work for another.