Alarm rings. Hit the snooze button. Only to want five more minutes of sleep. You’ll want to drink a cup of your favorite caffeine drink. Maybe later that day, you’ll get a refreshing can of Coke to top off lunch. That night, your late night cravings will probably hit while you’re studying for your AP classes so you might grab a candy bar to keep you up. What might seem as harmless, consuming caffeine can be both harmful and beneficial for a person’s health. The best way to understand this is to first understand what it does to the human body.
Being a natural substance extracted from plants, caffeine is used as a way to enable a person’s ability to stay awake (Sleep Education). Being one of many psychoactive drugs, this is used as an easy way for people to stimulate their brain (NIDA for Teens). To most people, they don’t see caffeine as relatable to other brain-altering drugs such as ecstasy or LSD. There are, in fact, many detrimental side effects to caffeine usage.
Sleeping problems are one of the biggest problems related to caffeine use. Being used to stimulate alertness, caffeine can influence a person’s circadian rhythm. This internal clock is what enables a person’s daily function. The more behind a person is with their sleep, the less they are able to function properly. What caffeine does is really interesting: because it kickstarts a person’s alertness, it likewise reduces the quality of sleep that person will get later that night (Sleep Foundation). Such problems will lead to less functionality throughout the day and changes in behavior. Not being productive can impact other parts of life such as work or family. This is one of the negative impacts of caffeine, but despite this, there are some positive ones.
Changes in mood are another symptom of caffeine. This particular effect is highly dependent on the age of the person and how often they consume it. For instance, a person who’s an avid drinker of coffee might find themselves acting completely different if they miss their daily cup of joe. In this case, that person would be greatly influenced by drinking coffee. In fact, a study done by the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that coffee could even have some impact on depression (Coffee & Health).
Caffeine does have some important influences on people and the use should be noted. It is in a wide variety of foods, and its effects should be taken to heart. For more information, go to coffeeandhealth.org as this site devotes its research to learning about influences of caffeine on the body.
References and Footnotes
Heffron, Thomas M. “Sleep and Caffeine.” Sleep Education, 1 Aug. 2013, http://www.sleepeducation.org/news/2013/08/01/sleep-and-caffeine.
“Mental Performance.” Coffee and Health, 13 Sept. 2017, http://www.coffeeandhealth.org/topic-overview/overview/.
“Diet, Exercise and Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation,
Bellum, Sara. “Psychoactive Drugs.” NIDA for Teens, 7 Oct. 2010,