Delaying Caffeine: Benefits & Sleep Quality | Huberman

Delaying Morning Caffeine: Benefits and Misconceptions

Huberman discusses the benefits of delaying caffeine intake by 90 to 120 minutes after waking, but clarifies that this is not a mandate for everyone. He personally hydrates and drinks caffeine close to waking if he plans to exercise soon after.

However, for those who don’t need caffeine to exercise or aren’t exercising immediately, delaying caffeine intake by 90 to 120 minutes can help offset the afternoon crash. This may be due to reducing the need for afternoon caffeine consumption, which in turn leads to better sleep at night by avoiding caffeine close to bedtime.

Delaying Caffeine Intake to Assess Sleep Quality

Walker suggests that people test delaying their caffeine intake in the morning for two reasons. First, taking caffeine early can mask adenosine, making the brain more metabolically active and leading to a buildup of adenosine during the day. This can cause sleepiness to arrive earlier and create a vicious cycle of self-medicating with more caffeine.

Second, abstaining from caffeine for a period of time allows individuals to assess the quality of their sleep without the masking effects of caffeine. After a two-week detox period and waiting 90 minutes after waking up, people can evaluate whether they feel rested, restored, and able to function well without caffeine. If they don’t feel refreshed, it may be an indication that their sleep quality needs improvement.

Walker emphasizes that this test doesn’t need to be permanent, but it provides an opportunity to assess sleep quality in a more caffeine-naive state. If individuals feel well-rested and refreshed after the test period, there may be no cause for concern regarding their sleep.

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