Caffeine makes me soooooo sleepy, tired, exhausted

Boxing Champion

Creative Commons License photo credit: pasukaru76 (out of town)

And it has a cumulative effect. UGH. And I wasn’t thinking about that.
In an effort to be healthy, I bought dark chocolate and have been eating a couple squares a night. I’ve been feeling worse and worse everyday. “What’s wrong with me?” I wondered, “Heart problems? Sick? What the HELL?!?”

Nope, dark chocolate. I had this same thing happen years ago when, in another attempt to be healthy, I drank green tea! Just three cups! One a day! By the third day I felt like I was a single mother of seven, with three jobs, who’d been run over by a truck. Being HORRIBLY, bone tired SUCKS.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Kreutziana

I have reactive hypoglycemia and I already knew that stimulants have this effect on me, but I just wasn’t thinking about the caffeine in dark chocolate. I also can’t have herbal stimulants, even seemingly benign ones like ginseng. GR.

I’m not the only one caffeine has this effect on. Here’s what the internet has to say about other reasons that caffeine might make you sleeeeeeepy:

From Give Up Coffee:
Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to release adrenalin, the ‘flight or fight’ hormone that prepares the body to react to a threat. It increases your heart and breathing rates, dilates the pupils and increases blood flow to the muscles. Ideally this adrenalin release happens very occasionally during times of great physical stress. However, when we consume excessive amounts of caffeine we promote a sustained adrenalin response, which exhausts the adrenal glands. As a result, these glands are unable to produce even the small amounts of adrenalin required to help us maintain focus and concentration, which in turn creates feelings of physical fatigue and malaise.

A secondary effect of caffeine consumption that contributes to sleepiness is that it can dampen the sensitivity of insulin. This hormone is involved in detecting sugar in the bloodstream and ensuring its uptake for energy production. If insulin is not working properly, we have less sugar available for energy and will feel tired.

Finally, caffeine consumption – especially at night – can reduce the amount we get of slow-wave sleep, which we need to be properly rested and rejuvenated. A consistent lack of this deep sleep will definitely contribute to feelings of fatigue. Combine these three physical effects of caffeine on the body and you have a recipe for fatigue.

Yahoo Answers:

First, caffeine is a vasoconstictor (it shrinks your blood vessels) thereby, it increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This is why caffeine is so effective for treating headaches.

Second, caffeine is also a diuretic (it makes you pee).

Therefore, if you are already dehydrated, then the caffeine will not have enough blood volume to shrink down the vessels to increase your blood pressure, and the caffeine will increase your dehydration to make you more tired.

Tip: this is what I do. Drink at least 3 to 4- 8 ounce glasses of water before drinking one cup of coffee. You will run to the bathroom in 20 minutes, but you see that you will have more pep and energy and use the 3 to 4 rule with every cup. You will find that you need less coffee to give you more energy

The Caffeine Curve

Creative Commons License photo credit: zoonabar

I get all of this but the good work habits and the elation. No, I do not get a caffeine high and then a drop. I just get a drop.


9 comments to Caffeine makes me soooooo sleepy, tired, exhausted

  • Gabe

    I feel the same way man. It feels like it dehydrates me or something. I get so tired and out of it!

  • Abz

    you may be on to something :| I feel the same way to!!

    Love your blog by the way, I’m a new visitor/stalker after having read your inspiring message on another blog which I’ll have to implement:

    “*I LOVE just eating according to my hunger*; only eating when I’m hungry and eating what I feel like eating when I’m hungry.
    Its SUCH a relief to not obsess about food, to trust my body, and not to overeat.
    I just figure I’ll trust my body and science can explain later why its so smart. ;)”

  • Lech

    I was able to realize that coffee made me tired even before I read all this information. I drink coffee every day and after the 1st one i feel great for about 2 hours max and than im on the fall till i feel like a total zombie worst than i ever had felt to start off with. So I’ll go with out. Whats the point of drinking something which will only make you tired in the end.
    Its all about the rush when it comes to coffee and even after the 1st the 2nd coffee will never feel the same. So i say, no thank you.. Keep the rush and i’ll keep awake . Thanks…

  • wow! i was feeling so out of it today and then i reached your space, it was the coffee!!! green tea too?? wow! thanks for this article, much help!

  • restorationgirl

    I am putting down the coffee cup as of today. Maybe this is the answer to my ongoing Chronic Fatigue that has become debilitating. Green tea puts my lights out. Maybe I’m dehydrated, too. Never really drank coffee until around the time CF started showing up & I used to be allergic to chocolate (caffiene). I’m going off all caffiene & see if it helps. I’ll give it at least a month just to start getting it out of my system to see if I’m feeling better. Thanks for the encouragement with this article! Going to drink lots of water starting today to flush my system!

  • Kai

    It seems like many get buzzed after the first cup, but later cups can result fatigue. But what if even the first cup makes you tired and you consume caffiene rarely? This was my case. Well, I discovered I had ADHD and this reaction to caffeine is normal. In fact, my doctor recommended drinking green tea to help me go to bed. It seems many adults have ADHD, up to 6% of the adult population! 80-90% of cases are undiagnosed! This leads me to think that ADHD could be one of the leading causes of sleepiness from caffeine. Tell me what y’all think.

  • Angela

    After drinking one cup of coffee I am so tired and so sleepy!

  • Joris

    Stimulants tends to have kind of an ‘opposite’ effect on people with ADHD and ADD.
    I have ADD (after 20 years I finally know), and caffeine relaxes me. If I take two espresso’s at the same time I start feeling relaxed after 20 minutes or so, and a little later I feel really lazy, tired, heavy…

    So you may be ADD?

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