Caffeine loses its effect after three nights of poor sleep

Jaspreet Sohal, CONTRIBUTOR

A study that was released in June said caffeine loses its effect after three
nights of poor sleep. THE PROJECTOR/ Jaspreet Sohal

Tired students looking to get some energy from their morning cup of joe may not get a boost, a new study suggests.

The study, which was released in June, said caffeine loses its effect after three nights of poor sleep—if someone sleeps for five hours or less for three straight nights, coffee or any other kind of caffeine won’t help perk them up.

The finding could have a strong effect on students. Students find it hard to manage various responsibilities such as school, work, friends and family, according to Calvary deJong, the vice president external of the Red River College Students’ Association. Students just try to do more than what they can actually do and sacrifice sleep, he said.

DeJong’s observations are backed by studies. Sleep deprivation and irregular sleep schedules are highly prevalent among college students, according to a University of Michigan study. Fifty per cent of students surveyed reported daytime sleepiness. Only 36 percent of adults and adolescents reported the same thing. Seventy per cent of students in the survey said they got insufficient sleep.

An RRC student points to this, rather than the new caffeine findings, as the problem.

Caffeine can help, but it can’t take the place of a good sleep, said Aaron Cram, a business technology management student.

Cram pointed at busy schedules and technology as reasons why students don’t get enough sleep.

Looking at screens disturbs chemical balances, which makes it hard to sleep, according to the University of Michigan study.

College time is a critical period of development from adolescence to adulthood, according to the study. It recommends education about adequate sleep hygiene, significance of proper sleep, and consequences of sleep deficiency. New approaches that encourage good sleep could have a substantial effect on students’ psychology and health, it says.