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Caffeine Not Enough To Jolt Sleep-Deprived Individuals, According To Study

First Posted: Jun 20, 2016 04:30 AM EDT
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A young woman samples freshly-brewed cappuccino at Bonanza Coffee Roasters. A lot of people use caffeine to get their morning boost, but new study showed that it does not work for constantly sleep-deprived individuals.
(Photo : Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

A lot of people claim that they can't start their day properly without a cup of coffee to give them a much-needed morning jolt. However, those who suffer from sleep deprivation are told not to rely on caffeine to five them a mental boost.

Astudy from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that those who don't get enough sleep for several days in a row cannot rely on caffeine to help combat their fatigue. Researchers tested 48 people who only get five hours of sleep every night for a period of five days, half of which were given 200mg of caffeine twice a day, while the other half were given a placebo.

The said participants were given a series of tests related to mood, sleepiness, wakefulness and reaction time, as well as hourly cognitive tests for when they were awake. It was then found in the first two days of the experiment that the participants who were given a caffeine boost had faster reaction times that those in the placebo group, however, this did not last for a third day, suggesting, according to iNews UK, that caffeine cannot prevent a person's decline in performance after a prolonged period of sleep deprivation.

The study's lead author, Tracy Jill Doty said that the results found are important, as caffeine has often been used to counteract performance decline after periods of restricted sleep. That being said, after three days, subjects become so sleep deprived that that caffeine can't be enough to improve performance, noted Refinery29 that the best way to combat sleep deprivation is yes, sleep itself.

The study, however, is still limited. As Doty explained, they did not take into account what could happen if sleep-deprived individuals increase their caffeine intake as well. She said, said that increased dosage could increase side effects, like jitteriness, however, she admitted that they do not know if this increased dosage could help with the prevention of performance decline.

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