Most adults love coffee. It’s their daily perk-me-up drink that can’t live without whether they’re at home or visiting another place.
Studies upon studies have shown that drinking a cup or two of coffee each day provides a lot of benefits to the body. One of its perks is being able to keep people alert for longer periods especially among those who stay up late at night for work or other important personal tasks.
New Study Findings
A new study has shown that a cup of coffee at night can serve as more than just a stimulant. The research published in the Science Translation Medicine noted that the drink can slow down the body’s internal clock and rewind it by almost an hour. The exposure to artificial light in the evening also played a significant role. The scientists discovered that a double espresso consumed a few hours before bedtime delayed the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone, by 40 minutes.
The findings were made after researchers composed of British and U.S. scientists made five volunteers stay in a sleep laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder for 50 days. They stayed there with very dim lights and were made to drink coffee every night.
According to one of the researchers Dr. John O’Neill, from the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, their latest findings may help treat certain sleep disorders and help people who normally wake up very early or the so-called larks. It could also help those experiencing jet lag as taking caffeine at the right time of the day can hasten their recovery.
Dr. O’Neill, however, noted that coffee should not be taken by people who are tired as it can only make it hard for them to sleep. Professor Derk-Jan Djik from the University of Surrey, for his part, pointed out that coffee drinks who have difficulty falling asleep should avoid their favorite drink in the afternoon and evening.
Body clock patterns are known as circadian rhythms and are influenced by the master clock in the brain which causes the release of melatonin. How this clock is synchronized throughout the body down to the individual cells depends on the amount of light that enters the eyes. When this clock is disrupted, it can increase the risk of a person to various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders and heart disease.