Latest News » An afternoon cup of joe could cost you sleep, study shows

As much as you love that cup of coffee, it may cost you sleep.

Long-term sleep deprivation can affect overall health in many ways, weakening the immune system, impacting memory retention, impairing alertness and more. Over time, missing out on rest can also cause substantial cognitive impairment. Yet, so many people fall short of the recommended eight hours of sleep they should receive and one reason could be an all-too-common habit of constant caffeine consumption.

If you often indulge in a late afternoon cup of coffee to get you through a hectic work day, you aren't alone by any means. However, new research shows that doing so could be costing you roughly an hour of sleep during the night – even if you can't tell that caffeine is the culprit.  Led by researchers from the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders and Research Center, the investigation revealed that consuming caffeine could have a greater impact on how long people sleep and the quality of rest of they enjoy.

"People tend to be less likely to detect the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep when taken in the afternoon" primary investigator Christopher Drake said in a press release.

In the study, individuals took caffeine pills six hours, three hours or one hour before going to bed. The researchers determined that even participants in the six-hour group reported notable disruption in their sleep patterns.

If you are concerned about your sleeping habits, or suffer from a disorder like insomnia, there may be many aspects of your lifestyle that contribute to this issue. In addition to cutting down on caffeine, take the time to evaluate other common habits including watching television right before bed or consuming heavy meals too late in the night. You may notice a substantial improvement in brain health and overall well-being in the process.

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