HOT NEW SLEEP SCIENCE
If you’re finding it hard to nod off, give it the beans. Wake up and smell the latest research on bedding down
Research has found a surprising ally in your quest for improved shut-eye. Give it the beans
In this age of endless screen time and perpetual anxiety, sleep is an increasingly scarce commodity. And that’s a problem: sleeping for less than six hours a night can disrupt your metabolism, cause a spike in your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and even affect your decision making to the same degree as several whiskies, according to the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute. Separate studies show that if you fall into an unhappy rhythm of late, restless nights and bleary- eyed early mornings, you’re 12% more likely to die before your 65th birthday. It’s enough to keep you up at night.
| But new research by the Trivedi Science Research Laboratory has identified an unlikely ally. Caffeic acid in coffee inhibits the breakdown of melatonin – the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm and triggers the onset of sleep – in your liver. The more melatonin that’s available to your body, the more that can be released in your bloodstream, signalling your mind to switch off in the evening.
An espresso nightcap remains a terrible idea – no amount of melatonin can offset that stimulus. But caffeine has a half-life of around six hours (the time it takes to lose 50% of its potency in the blood), so if you restrict your coffee to a morning eye-opener and power through afternoon slumps with a workout and complex carbs instead of coffee, you can reap the benefits of extra melatonin without an unwanted buzz keeping you up through the night. You can thank us in the morning.
INTRODUCING YOUR BEST SHOT AT BEATING INSOMNIA