Sweet Dreams

Having a good night's sleep takes more than just a bedtime.

Sleep Tip Experiment 2: No Coffee

It’s been a while since my last sleep tip experiment, which I am still working on and enjoying its benefits of sound sleep.  My latest experiment consisted of one week without any coffee.  Before I got my job as the Sleepy’s Snooze Director, I would have multiple cups of coffee throughout my day.  Once I learned how much coffee and caffeine affects your sleep if consumed in the afternoon, I cut back to just my one morning cup of coffee.  But last week I went for the extreme, no coffee at all!  How was I going to get through my day?!  What am I going to do to give me an extra push in the morning?!  I was nervous, but I knew I had to do this, for you my readers.

I feel as if this experiment would have been easier if A) my mom didn’t make coffee every morning (fresh brewed coffee is one of my favorite scents) and B) I didn’t pass four Dunkin Donuts, three 7-11’s and a Starbucks on my way to work (I can’t even count how many delis and bagel stores I pass).  I resorted to two drinks for my coffee-free week; green tea and water.  Drinking a glass of cold water is a much better choice for an afternoon energy boost than coffee or soda.  The sugar and caffeine in coffee and soda will only lead to a harder crash; water will give you the boost (and hydration) you need to tackle the 3pm slump.

The first day was fairly tough; green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee.  I had three cups of green tea on my first day just to try and add up my caffeine fix, which yes, is cheating, I suppose.  But the green tea just didn’t give me that boost I needed on my first day without coffee.  I do have to say that I was fortunate enough to not get the dreaded caffeine withdrawal headache during my experiment, which I now think is a sign that I don’t really need my daily cup of coffee.

By the middle of the week the only thing I was missing was the taste of coffee.  I was drinking more water than I normally did so my body was fully hydrated which is a great natural way to give yourself an energy boost.  I was also battling a bit of a cold and I think that because I was drinking water and green tea, my body was able to beat my cold more quickly.  Completing this sleep tip experiment has made me realize that I don’t need coffee for energy.  Not drinking coffee at all made it even easier to fall asleep at night.  I felt that I was sleeping more deeply because I didn’t have coffee at all.  This experiment really showed me how crucial quality sleep is when it comes to having enough energy to get you through your day.  Coffee and energy drinks just don’t compare to quality sleep when it comes to your energy level.

Since I have completed this sleep tip experiment of no coffee, I have returned to one cup of coffee a day, but it’s more so to enjoy the taste of it.  I love the smell of coffee brewed in the morning and I love the flavor, it’s just something I would miss.  One cup of coffee isn’t bad for you; in fact studies have recently showed that drinking multiple cups of coffee in a day may decrease a woman’s risk of developing depression.  But when it comes to sleep, coffee intake can definitely affect your quality of sleep.  So if you have a hard time falling asleep each night, you may want to try and see if you can go a week without coffee and see if it improves your sleep quality.

Have you ever given up coffee for a period of time?  Do you think you would be able to go a week without coffee?  Tell me in the comment section below!


Contributor: Emily Barrett


  1. I too, love coffee(more for the taste), and I have recently switched to drinking only decaf after 12:00PM. I can tell you that I truly feel that I am sleeping so much better than I ever was before. My biggest problem was actually falling asleep, but now I’m out almost right away!

    • That is great to hear Cindy, I’m so glad you are sleeping better! It’s so important to cut off our caffeine intake in the early afternoon.
      – Emily Barrett, Snooze Director

  2. Yes! I agree Paul! Counting down from 100 by 3’s makes you SO bored that you can’t help BUT fall asleep. Thanks for your advice!
    -Emily Barrett, Snooze Director

  3. Useful advice! I tried to do the same and it really worked on me!

  4. I’ve played around the with no-coffee, decaf after noon, limit coffee in the morning – and am generally afraid to have regular brew in the PM.

    But after analyzing my actual sleep with a few cups in the morning, and a regular coffee at 3PM, I can see no difference in my sleep.

    I’d like to “push” the regular stuff later into dinner time, but I’m afraid!

    How do you measure “quality” of sleep???

    • Hi Doug,
      Good question about measuring “quality” sleep! Without a device to show you the actual measurements of your sleep (i.e. how much time spent in REM/Non-REM…) the way I measure “quality” sleep is how I feel the next morning. If I am groggy and still feeling not rested, that signals I didn’t sleep well at all last night. However, if I wake up before my alarm clock goes off, or when it does I get out of bed right away, I know I got enough sleep and it was “quality” because I am feeling fully restored and energized.
      – Emily Barrett, Snooze Director

  5. Try decaffeinated coffee, it’s a lot better, and decaffeinated doesn’t taste much different from the normal coffee.

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