Beware The Late Night Cup Of Joe (You & Your Health)

There are a lot of stories out there these days on the health benefits of drinking coffee. Your morning cup of joe is now looked at as a way to help fend off everything from cancer and Parkinson’s to liver ailments and diabetes.

But….another recent study suggests drinking coffee at the ‘wrong time’ could disrupt your body’s internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. From Newsweek Magazine:

Researchers assessed changes in the circadian rhythm by measuring the levels of participants’ melatonin, the hormone that’s responsible for inducing sleepiness and keeping the body clock set correctly. The researchers found caffeine appeared to delay the circadian rhythm by as much as 40 minutes, an effect that is equivalent to about three hours of daylight exposure.  

The researchers then took their study to petri dishes with human cell cultures. They exposed the cells to high levels of caffeine and found this prevented the circadian cells from signaling when it was time for sleep.”

NPR wrote, “The study showed that the amount of caffeine found in a double espresso, if taken three hours before bedtime, delayed the melatonin surge (sleep hormone) by about 40 minutes. “We found that caffeine did indeed, in the evening, shift your clock later,” said Kenneth Wright, a sleep and circadian physiologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The study isn’t suggesting the claims that coffee has health benefits are untrue. But, according to a story on CBS News – timing is everything. “Don’t down a cup of joe when it’s late if you want to avoid feeling sluggish the next day due to a lack of sleep.”


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