Caffeine is commonly used in many drinks and beverages. It is a compound present in coffee beans, tea leaves, and kola nuts. Caffeine can also be produced artificially and used in drugs as a treatment for various conditions.
We drink caffeine when we take soda or tea. But the highest levels of caffeine are contained in coffee. Caffeine is a psychoactive used to boost alertness. However, this very same property also means that it can affect your sleeping patterns. Let’s find out how.
How Caffeine affects your brain
When we take a cup of coffee, the caffeine will be absorbed into the bloodstream in two main ways. These include:
● through the stomach
● through the small intestines.
Once in the blood, it crosses over into the brain. Here it blocks the adenosine receptors. These are sensors in your brains that detect adenosine.
But what is adenosine?
It is a chemical that our brain releases during the time that we are not asleep. More of this chemical is produced the more we remain awake and once detected by the brain we begin to fall asleep. With the adenosine receptors blocked, we thus do not feel sleepy. When we take caffeine before going to bed, our sleeping patterns are affected and it takes longer for us to go fall asleep. Not having sufficient amounts of sleep can pose major health concerns such as insomnia and even heart disease.