The slump we experience in the afternoon – as our bodies work to digest lunch or burn more sugars to get us through the day – is a well-documented phenomenon. It's why so many people visit the office coffee-maker frequently throughout the day. And, according to a new study, we may be missing out on a lot of precious sleep because of it.
Chances are you have your own guidelines for when to consume a warm cup of joe – namely, the cut-off point when you think the caffeine could affect your ability to fall asleep. However, scientists from Detroit's Henry Ford Sleep Disorders and Research Center have just issued a press release that could disrupt your timetable. According to the source, enjoying a boost of caffeine in the afternoon – a good six hours before you plan to hit the hay – may be all it takes to disturb your slumber.
"Drinking a big cup of coffee on the way home from work can lead to negative effects on sleep just as if someone were to consume caffeine closer to bedtime," said study author Christopher Drake in the release.
Coffee has definitely become a comfort beverage – one we seek out instinctively even if we don't actually need the energy boost. However, missing out on sleep can affect everything from your immune system to your interest in sexual intimacy, so this study may be grounds enough to reconsider your next latte. After all, if your sleep patterns are going to be disrupted, it should only be for something worthwhile, like an evening with your partner and your favorite personal lubricant!