By definition, coffee is a wake-up drink that stimulates your senses and makes you feel more energetic. Yet, why the heck are you ready for a nap after ingesting a couple of sips instead of feeling like a ball on fire? Here’s why you are asking yourself why does coffee make me sleepy.
It’s not coffee but caffeine that makes you sleepy, as it causes adenosine buildup in the body (a molecule that can make us feel drowsy).
Once the effects of drinking coffee disappear, this buildup will make you feel tired and sluggish.
On the other hand, coffee can make you go to the loo more often, which can cause dehydration that can make you feel tired.
Sometimes, the sweetener is the culprit – be it honey, sugar, or whipped cream.
This causes your blood glucose to increase, which reduces your energy levels and makes you dizzy as a result.
So we’ve decided to investigate the issue so that we might help you solve this mind-boggling mystery of why coffee acts as a sedative drug instead of keeping you fully awake and alert.
Read below to find out what and why causes this phenomenon and what you can do to counter it!
Table of Contents
Top 8 Reasons Why Coffee Makes You Tired and Sleepy!
Below we’ve picked 8 common factors that you should consider if your cup of Joe makes you feel like you want to hit the bed.
1. Caffeine Content
An average cup of Joe contains 95 mg of caffeine.
Shortly after you finish your cup of Joe, your body starts redistributing it throughout the body.
Once caffeine reaches your brain, it binds to adenosine receptors that prevent drowsiness.
Yet, caffeine blocks adenosine.
Or more specifically, it doesn’t prevent the brain from producing it but rather delaying its effects.
Since the effects of caffeine wear off after 45 minutes max, the adenosine levels that the brain produced in the meantime will hit you like a train and make you feel tired.
Ingesting caffeine can increase the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and epinephrine (adrenaline) and make you feel stressed within 10 to 15 minutes after having a cup of coffee.
Yet, our body can translate stress into drowsiness so you can get an irresistible urge to hit the bed.
If you’ve consumed coffee regularly and then tried to withdraw completely, there’s a chance you would experience some common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
One of the typical caffeine withdrawal symptoms is sleepiness.
Its effects can last even for the next 24 hours after your last cup of coffee.
And if you’ve consumed more than 4 cups of coffee per day, symptoms may last for as last couple of weeks.
2. Coffee is a Diuretic
Coffee is a well-known diuretic and anyone who has ever drunk a cup of java knows this.
Drinking more than 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day may cause you to rush to the bathroom.
If you use the restroom more often, you are losing more fluids as a result and this can cause dehydration.
Each time you urinate, your body loses water and your blood thickens, it slows down, and delivers less oxygen to the body.
When your body is not getting enough oxygen, you become less energetic.
Some of the milder symptoms of dehydration include feeling tired, dizzy, and thirsty.
Drinking excessive quantities of coffee can cause rapid breathing, speed up your heart rate, or make you faint (severe symptoms of dehydration).
If you typically don’t consume sugar, drinking coffee sweetened with artificial substances can make you feel heavy-eyed.
The most common artificial sweeteners used in coffee drinks are sugar, syrup and whipped cream.
Ingesting more sugars makes your body produce more insulin, which, can make your blood glucose levels go down even further.
Simultaneously, your energy levels drop and you can feel a lack of energy, hunger, dizziness, or irritability.
4. Mold Contamination
Unroasted coffee beans can be contaminated with mold, which you can’t know unless you carefully examine the beans.
Drinking coffee that has grown mold will, highly likely, make you tired and sleepy.
- Also read: Do coffee makers kill bacteria?
In fact, consuming mold can outright make you sick so if your coffee beans are moldy, just ditch them.
Coffee that contains mycotoxins (toxic chemicals mold produce) can also cause fatigue, dizziness, and a lack of concentration when ingested in higher doses.
5. Addiction to Coffee
The more coffee you drink, the more you will crave it, right?
That’s because you’ve slowly built a tolerance to coffee.
After a while, consuming a normal dose of coffee won’t satisfy your cravings so you will need to increase the dose daily
Not increasing the dose will make you feel sleepy, as the normal amount of java won’t be affecting your brain as it used to.
6. You are More Sensitive to Caffeine
Some people can have 6 cups of espresso a day, while others can’t stand more than a few sips.
If your body needs more time to properly metabolize caffeine, chances are – you are going to feel tired for several hours after downing your cup.
But there’s nothing to be afraid of as our bodies interact with caffeine in various ways.
However, if you experience headaches and a racing pulse besides fatigue, you could be sensitive to caffeine.
- Also read: Why do people drink decaf coffee?
In this case, you might consider going for decaffeinated coffee so that you don’t let your caffeine sensitivity come between you and your daily cup of Joe.
7. Low-Quality Coffee
Cheap coffee brands sell low-quality coffee that might be mixed with other substances.
Are you used to drinking coffee of a good or high quality that makes you feel revitalized?
Then swapping to low-quality coffee can make you feel exhausted due to the different reactions it causes in the body.
What is more, some cheap coffee brands might even use potent stimulant drugs that can cause serious health problems.
8. Maybe it’s Not Coffee that Makes you Sleepy
Most coffee lovers have a cup as soon as they wake up or during the workday.
They probably need coffee in order to feel fresh but its effects can last for only a short period of time.
If you’re overworked, overfatigued and overstressed, coffee most likely won’t be enough to keep you fully awake and alert.
If you have a lot of work lined up, coffee won’t help you much and you’ll feel tired either way, as soon as the caffeine’s effects wear out.
Also, some people find coffee hard to digest after midday, which makes them feel like they would need a nap.
How Can I Stop Feeling Sleepy After Drinking Coffee?
Here are 5 superb methods that you can apply now to stop feeling tired after drinking coffee:
1.Go for natural sweeteners
If you can’t imagine drinking unsweetened coffee, there’s a way to handle the sugar crash that typically follows.
Proteins (dairy products, fish, lean meats, or poultry) will balance out your blood sugar levels and prevent you from feeling yawny.
Alternatively, you can try natural sweeteners such as full-fat coconut milk, green leaf stevia, or lightly processed monk fruit.
2. Do caffeine withdrawal slow and steady
If you want to withdraw from caffeine, do it in a slow and methodical fashion.
Cut back on your consumption gradually – don’t instantly cut on all caffeine.
You can reduce the consumption by a third of a cup every several days.
Drinking green tea can also help with your withdraw to make the transition smoother.
This way you can start introducing green tea to your body meanwhile reducing the amount of coffee you drink every day.
Otherwise, you’ll start wondering ‘why is coffee making me tired’ yet again while the culprit might very well be your sudden caffeine withdraw.
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3. Pick your coffee beans carefully
Never buy shriveled beans or ones that have lost their color.
Also, be careful if you haven’t stored the beans properly and you’ve kept them for too long.
Coffee beans are best stored in opaque, air-tight containers at cool or room temperatures.
These beans are, highly likely, moldy and will make your coffee unsavory (to put it lightly).
Avoid coffee blends, and, if possible, opt for wet-roasted beans.
4. Manage the amount of coffee you consume each day
Try having no more than 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day and avoid drinking java after 2 p.m.
Feeling sluggish after consuming the same amounts of coffee and craving more means that you are getting addicted.
Try reducing the overall caffeine intake and you’ll reap more benefits than when consuming loads of it.
5. Make sure that you’re drinking water
As we previously mentioned, coffee is a potent diuretic.
This means that you’ll visit the WC more often, which means that you’ll lose more liquids.
And all of this makes you more susceptible to dehydration, which can lead to symptoms similar to those of caffeine sensitivity for example.
If you are using the restroom more often after drinking coffee, drink plenty of water and eat fruits and veggies with higher water content.
How Long Does it Take for Coffee to Take Effect?
It takes 10 minutes for coffee to take effect.
Still, caffeine circulating through your body will reach its peak about 30 to 90 minutes after you consume it.
How Long Does Caffeine Stay in Your System?
Caffeine has stimulating effects on our brain for about 15 to 45 minutes after we consume it.
Yet, it can stay in our system for up to 4 hours afterward.
Once the stimulating effects of caffeine start wearing off, your body will use energy to process it, which can make you tired.
How Does Coffee Negatively Affect Your Body?
Drinking large amounts of coffee can have adverse effects on your body.
Too much caffeine can cause stomach issues, insomnia or drowsiness, anxiety, or heart palpitations.
You should figure out your coffee limits if you want to prevent these negative effects.
People who’s bodies metabolize coffee more slowly usually experience fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness.
Pregnant females, for instance, metabolize caffeine for hours (up to 12 hours as a woman gets towards the end of her pregnancy).
If you are a fast metabolizer, you won’t be experiencing nervousness or fatigue after consuming coffee but you should still be careful about the caffeine doses you ingest.
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Can Caffeine Not Affect You?
Yes, you can build up a tolerance to caffeine, meaning that you might need more of it in order to feel that legendary caffeine kick.
And if you develop a tolerance, you may stop noticing the effects that caffeine has on your body.
Yet, just because you are not noticing the effects, doesn’t mean they are not there.
Can You Flush Out Caffeine from Your System?
Yes, you can do that by drinking more fluids, consuming more water-packed foods and moving more.
Try drinking more water and herbal tea, exercise, and eat more vegetables and fruits.
There’s no doubt that caffeine can have powerful effects on our bodies.
Digesting a cup of coffee in the morning can help you feel awake and boost your energy.
Yet, if you have developed caffeine tolerance so that you need higher doses to feel the kick or if you drink too much of it, coffee will make you feel depleted.
Then you’ll know what the most possible issue is and you won’t be asking yourself why does coffee make me sleepy anymore.
And thankfully you know the reasons and you know the solutions.
Just keep track of your daily intake and listen to your body.
Now tell us – do you usually add artificial sweeteners to your coffee?
Are you feeling sleepy only after having a mid-day cup of Joe?
Go on – leave your comments down below!
Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind – I’m Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I’m off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API