Coffee: Bad for Sleep

Topics: Sleep, Sleep deprivation, Caffeine Pages: 6 (2036 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Late Night Cup of Coffee: Bad for Sleep
Sleep is very important to human beings especially because it allows both our minds and body to rest. It sorts out and arranges our memory and it is necessary for our body to function well. In fact about 40% of a person’s day is allocated to sleep throughout adolescence. However, adolescents who are people aged 12 to 18 years need 9 hours of sleep but on average most teens get 7 hours only (Mindell and Owens 30). A variety of factors contributes to the tendency of staying up late among adolescents this includes academic life, social life, and electronic media such as computers, televisions and cellphones. Adolescents particularly college students nowadays are most likely to stay up late because of homework or next day’s long exam. In the case of the Computer Science Sophomore Students of the University of the Philippines, generating codes for machine problems and laboratories keeps them stay up all night thus getting less sleep. To keep them going, some drink a cup of coffee to avoid drowsiness. Coffee contains caffeine which serves as a stimulant. It keeps one stay awake but it disrupts sleep. That is why to avoid sleeping difficulties; it is recommended that coffee should not be taken within four to six hours before bedtime. Gasapo 2

Coffee is a beverage which contains caffeine-a widely used stimulant. Caffeine can indeed bring mental alertness but disturbs sleep. In a recent interview of selected UP Computer Science students, some complain that after coffee consumption they had a hard time falling asleep. Furthermore, they said that they usually wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. Lynne Lamberg, author of the Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs: Drugs and Sleep said that”the need to sleep is an organizing force for living creatures” (21). The importance of sleep to one’s health is often overlooked by many people; furthermore not getting enough sleep could greatly affect every aspect of our health, thinking and behavior. Generally, every aspect of one’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development is affected by sleep (Mindell and Owens 6). However, life’s demands on teens as well as their competing priorities such as their social and academic lives often lead them to sleep deprivation. Most adolescents take a cup of coffee to avoid drowsiness and to stay alert during the night. In fact during adolescence, the initial exposure to caffeine takes place (Wagman 213). This is usually in the form of coffee and other caffeinated drinks such as soda and tea. Sheryl Laudito, in her article Staying Healthy with a Cup of Coffee said that “Coffee is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds and a stimulant of wit” (3). This is a possible reason why people Gasapo 3

are more inclined to drinking coffee than any other beverage. As author of The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs: Caffeine- the Most Popular Stimulant, Dr. Gilbert Richard notes that findings of a recent study showed that coffee drinkers prefer coffee because of the following reasons: It gives one a feeling of well-being; It calms; It orients and helps one think; It makes one less irritable; It gets one going and wakes one up. These are also the same reasons for those coffee drinkers from the interview conducted. The following could also be possible reasons why more people are inclined to drinking coffee these are as follows: inherited coffee drinking habits, and influence of fast-paced lifestyle and work (Placido B3). Coffee, as defined by Stunning in Encyclopedia Americana, is the “seeds or beans of any of a group of tropical evergreen shrubs of the genus caffea, in the Madder family (Rubiaceae)”. Even though large quantities of coffee are used in flavors and extracts, coffee in the form of beverage is mostly consumed (187). The major component found in coffee is caffeine. It is found naturally in coffee and tea as well as in carbonated beverages and medications...
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