The Matt Walker Podcast

#11: Sleep & Caffeine – Part 2

December 20, 2021 Dr. Matt Walker Episode 11
The Matt Walker Podcast
#11: Sleep & Caffeine – Part 2
Show Notes

In this week’s episode, Matt continues his discussion of sleep and caffeine. Here, we learn about the paradox of coffee, one in which coffee provides health benefits, despite its negative impact on sleep.

Before addressing that, however, Matt speaks about one last sleep consequence of caffeine: regardless of your sensitivity to caffeine, it can still disrupt the quantity and electric quality of your deep non-REM sleep.

This can lead to a cycle of caffeine dependency 1) you drink more coffee the next morning to compensate for your poor-quality, unrestorative sleep the night before, which then 2) degrades the quality of your subsequently night's sleep even more, which leads to 3) your potentially reaching for even more sups of coffee the following day,
etc, etc.

Matt’s advice to still drink coffee (if you want) is due to the many health benefits associated with coffee. How is it possible that coffee has such health benefits, despite the harmful impact of caffeine on sleep?

Matt points out that the coffee bean itself contains a sizable blast of antioxidants in every cup. In fact, because of the state of the standard Western diet, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants for many people in developed nations. However, it is possible to get these benefits without drinking caffeine – many health benefits are similarly associated with drinking decaffeinated coffee since that too contains antioxidants.

Therefore, it is the antioxidants in the coffee bean, not the caffeine, that carries the health-related advantages.

But Matt is also clear to speak about the fact that when it comes to coffee, the
dose, and the timing make the poison. His advice: try to limit it to one to three (at the max) cups in the morning, remembering the quarter-life of caffeine is around 10-12 hours for the average adult. 

By following these steps, you can maintain a healthy relationship between caffeine, coffee, and this beautiful thing we call sleep at night.

Please note that Matt is not a medical doctor, and none of the content in this podcast should be considered medical advice in any way, shape, or form, nor prescriptive in any way.

The episode is sponsored by the incredible folks over at Athletic Greens, who are providing a discount and free product if you use the link above. Athletic Greens is a comprehensive daily nutritional beverage containing 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole food-sourced ingredients, including a multivitamin, multimineral, probiotic.

So, head on over to Athletic Greens and get a free year supply of Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs today. Finally, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share, please reach out on Instagram @drmattwalker.