Coffee isn’t the answer to a sleepless night

For someone who doesn’t drink coffee, I certainly talk a lot about it, right?  

I realize it’s one pleasure that a lot of people feel guilty about, though. So when I have an opportunity to set facts straight, I take it.  

Of course, our last discussion focused on caffeine. And how it might not be so great for your brain—despite the fact that so many people use it to help them “wake up” every morning. 

So while I’m issuing warnings this week, I thought I’d share the results of yet another recent study I came across… 

Caffeine only takes you so far 

I’ve said it for years, but this latest finding really drives the point home: Don’t lean on caffeine to make up for a poor night’s sleep.  

Researchers from Michigan State University’s Sleep and Learning Lab set out to investigate how effectively caffeine counteracted the impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive function. And surprise, surprise… it doesn’t get you very far.  

This study featured more than 275 participants, all of whom performed a simple attention task, along with a more challenging task, after a single night of sleep deprivation. And as you might expect, lost sleep impaired subjects’ performance on both counts. 

The good news is, caffeine helped subjects perform the simpler attention task more successfully. But the bad news is, caffeine consumption had very little effect on the more challenging cognitive task, in most cases.   

Simply put, caffeine might help you stay awake—and it might even help you complete a simple task at hand. But it’s not going to do much to help you with more complex tasks throughout the day… like driving a car, or in my case, performing a medical exam.  

And needless to say, these are areas where you don’t have room for error.  

Start prioritizing sleep today 

Keep in mind this study was completed with just one bad night of sleep. So it doesn’t even begin to address the effects of cumulative sleep loss, which are more prevalent now than ever.   

The pandemic has affected sleep quality and quantity for many people. But whatever the cause, a consistent lack of sleep will affect more than just your brain function.  

Over time, it can wreak havoc on your entire body… paving the way to chronic illness and fatigue.    

My point is, don’t lean on caffeine for energy or to combat sleep loss. Because while it might help in the short term, in the long term, it has the exact opposite effect. 

Your body needs a good seven to nine hours of sleep each and every night to function properly—and more importantly, to fight off disease.  

That’s why I’m always telling you to start prioritizing sleep. But if you’re struggling to get a full night of shut-eye (despite trying every trick in the book), some natural approaches can help.   

In fact, I outline my top five all-natural supplements for more regular and reliable rest in the March 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The deadly cost of a broken ‘body clock’”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one today! 


“Don’t count on caffeine to fight sleep deprivation.” Science Daily, 05/26/2021. (